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Space Fission Power Post #2: Abundant Power is the Key to Space Exporation.

29 May 2012, 07:58 UTC
Space Fission Power Post #2: Abundant Power is the Key to Space Exporation.
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

On Earth, life and humanity has benefited from the energy of the sun (plants, animals, fuels, heat, etc.), but in space you’re essentially on your own. Power is the single most important element to the survival of both spacecraft and humans in space, and an abundance of power is essential to providing safe and reliable missions – without power there is no existence. NASA science missions have been extremely successful since the 1960s, but since then there has been no fundamental change in where we can go and how much power we have when we get there. We could increase the benefits of science missions by orders of magnitude with a robust, low-mass source of abundant power. For human exploration, the need for abundant power provides a different paradigm that we’ve come to know on Earth. An astronaut is not concerned with the over-hyped health effects of radiation (from a reactor, or the sun and cosmic rays); rather, an astronaut’s concern is whether the power system will provide power when it is needed. In addition, these astronauts will want to be “power rich”, a term frequently used by NASA astronauts (e.g. discussion I’ve had with Scott Horowitz, Ed Lu, John ...

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