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NASA Successfully Tests Nuclear Reactor to Power Future Missions
- Most space missions rely on solar power, but a few that demand maximum reliability have a thermal nuclear power system.
- This could be the first prototype of reactors that power future human settlements on the moon or Mars.
- NASA estimates four such reactors would enough to power a human outpost on the moon or Mars, and they reactors would operate for at least 10 years before needing more nuclear fuel.
- In the final phase, NASA cranked the KRUSTY to full power for 28 hours to simulate operation on a real mission.
- NASA says the reactor withstood simulated power reductions, failed engines, and failed heat pipes during testing.more