Radioisotope Power Systems
Non-NASA RPS Missions Fleet Chart
Non-NASA RPS Missions Fleet Chart
This series of images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows the development of the largest storm seen on the planet since 1990.
Chronicling Saturn's Northern Storm
This color image, acquired by the Galileo spacecraft in 1997 on its ninth orbit around Jupiter, shows two volcanic plumes erupting on Io.
Active Volcanic Plumes on Io
Covered in a thick global haze, Saturn's moon Titan is a major source of interest for planetary scientists.
Seeing the surface of Titan
An American Superconductor free-piston Stirling Convertor.
American Superconductor Free-Piston Stirling Convertor
Graphite Impact Shell (GIS).
Graphite Impact Shell (GIS)
A color view is a Viking 2 Lander close-up of the surface of Mars. The metal cylinder at right is the shroud (or cover) for the surface
Viking Lander Trenches
New Horizons launched on Jan. 19, 2006, and it conducted a six-month-long reconnaissance flyby study of Pluto and its moons in 2015, culminating with Pluto closest approach on July 14, 2015.
RPS 60th: New Horizons Shareable
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has delivered a glorious view of Saturn, taken while the spacecraft was in Saturn's shadow. The cameras were turned toward Saturn and the sun so that the planet and rings ...
A Splendor Seldom Seen
Voyager 1 took this photo of Jupiter and two of its satellites (Io at left and Europa at right) as it approached its flyby encounter with the planet in 1979.
Jupiter, Io and Europa
Humanity's most sophisticated rover launched at 7:50 a.m. EDT on July 30th on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Mars Perseverance Launches
Technicians at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida perform a fit check between the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover and its Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator on April 16-17, 2020.
Fitting the Rover's Power System
The electricity for NASA's Mars 2020 rover is provided by a power system called a Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator, or MMRTG. The MMRTG will be inserted into the aft end of the r...
Power for Mars 2020
An improved, color enhanced version of the 360-degree Gallery Pan taken by Mars Pathfinder in 1997.
Mars Pathfinder Panorama
DRPS illustration of the Flexure Isotope Stirling Convertor system from American Superconductor.
Flexure Isotope Stirling Convertor System (illustration)
This picture of asteroid Gaspra is a mosaic of two images taken by the Galileo spacecraft in 1991, during the first close approach of a spacecraft to an asteroid.
First Close Approach to an Asteroid
A Multi-Hundred Watt RTG.
Multi-Hundred Watt RTG
Part of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, Curiosity launched Nov. 26, 2011 and landed on Mars at 10:32 p.m. PDT on Aug. 5, 2012.
RPS 60th: Mars Curiosity Rover Shareable
Thermal energy researchers Wayne Wong (left) and Scott Wilson, inspect a Stirling power convertor that has been running continuously for 14-years.
Inspecting a Stirling Power Convertor
The Cassini Division within Saturn's rings is visible through backyard telescopes on Earth as a dark, seemingly empty region. The division actually contains a great deal of structure.
Graceful Lanes of Ice
Dragonfly is a NASA rotorcraft lander mission that will explore the chemistry and habitability of Saturn's largest moon, Titan.
RPS 60th: Dragonfly Mission to Titan Shareable
A montage of New Horizons images of Jupiter and its volcanic moon Io, taken during the spacecraft's Jupiter flyby in early 2007.
There are no gas stations or mechanics in deep space. So, if you want the power to perform science in the deep, dark frontiers of our solar system, you must have an engine that is reliable for the...
Testing Maintenance-Free Engines That Power Science in Deep Space
This montage shows a series of views from the European Space Agency's Huygens probe at four different altitudes as it descended to the surface of Saturn's moon Titan in 2005.
Huygens's Descent to Titan
The Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator for NASA'S Mars 2020 Perseverance rover is shown during a fit check with the rover at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 16-17, ...
Rover Power System
This self-portrait of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity combines dozens of exposures taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the 177th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars (...
Curiosity Rover Self-Portrait
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NASA selected three winners out of nine finalists in the second annual Power to Explore Challenge, a national competition for elementary through high school students featuring the power of radioisotopes for space exploration.
NASA Announces Student Winners of Power to Explore Challenge
NASA selected 9 finalists out of the 45 semi-finalists student essays in the Power to Explore Challenge, a national competition for K-12 students featuring the enabling power of radioisotopes.
NASA Names Finalists of the Power to Explore Challenge
NASA has selected 45 semi-finalist of the Power to Explore Challenge, a national competition for K-12 students featuring the enabling power of radioisotopes.
NASA Names Semi-Finalists of the Power to Explore Challenge
NASA’s second Power to Explore Challenge inspires learning about how radioisotope power systems help us explore the extremes of our solar system. Credit: NASA/Gayle Dibiasio (ATS)
NASA Launches Power to Explore Challenge for K-12 Students
Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) have provided the power to explore some of the deepest, darkest, and most distant destinations in the solar system and beyond. Voyager 1 is NASA’s furthest traveled spacecraft, and its science mission has been enabled by RPS for 45 years.
NASA Celebrates 45 Years of Voyager 1, Enabled by Radioisotope Power
Celebrating 45 years of Voyager I and II in space
Voyager, NASA's Longest-Lived Mission, Logs 45 Years in Space