The United States plans to increase the use of nuclear power in space
Donald Trump believes his country needs nuclear power to carry out future expeditions to Mars and beyond. In addition, nuclear reactors would be well suited as power sources for the future manned moon station.
The outgoing President of the United States, Donald Trump, has set a new guideline. It aims to increase the use of nuclear power in space activities. This is probably Trump’s last space-related move.
In space, nuclear power is especially suitable when other energy sources are not enough. These include places that are too dark for solar power and too far away to transport large amounts of fuel.
Sounders already use some nuclear energy today. For example, a Perseverance marshal produces electricity in its nuclear battery from the heat generated by naturally decomposing plutonium. Small plutonium elements also heat electronics in many sonar.
However, the plans presented now speak of a much larger scale of energy production, such as a small fission reactor suitable for the surface of the Moon. The nuclear reactor can also be used for propulsion either through the electrical power of an ion engine or in a nuclear heat engine.
“Utilizing nuclear energy and propulsion in space will enable America’s long expeditions to Mars and beyond,” notes Scott Pace of the U.S. National Space Council.
It is unclear how the forthcoming change of power in the White House will change U.S. space policy. However, future President Joe Biden seems to be in favor of using nuclear power, at least on Earth, to alleviate the climate crisis.
Article source: https://www.avaruus.fi/uutiset/miehitetyt-avaruuslennot/yhdysvallat-suunnittelee-lisaavansa-ydinvoiman-kayttoa-avaruudessa.html and https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-supports-americas-national-strategy-for-space-nuclear-power-and-propulsion/
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