Radioisotope Power Systems
Non-NASA RPS Missions Fleet Chart
Non-NASA RPS Missions Fleet Chart
Voyager 2 was launched on August 20, 1977, from the NASA Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in Florida, propelled into space on a Titan/Centaur rocket.
Voyager 2 Launch
Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package (ALSEP) deployed on the lunar surface
ALSEP Deployed on the Lunar Surface
The spinning vortex of Saturn's north polar storm resembles a deep red rose of giant proportions surrounded by green foliage in this false-color image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
Saturn: The Rose
Launched on June 29, 1961, Transit IV-A was the first satellite to carry a radioisotope power system into space.
RPS 60th: Transit IV-A Shareable
An illustration of Cassini at Saturn.
Illustration of Cassini at Saturn
A false-color view, processed to reveal subtleties in the brightness of the overall plume that comprises the jets.
Jets of Enceladus
Neptune's largest moon Triton, is seen in this mosaic of images captured by Voyager 2 during the only visit thus far to the Neptune system.
Voyager's view of Triton
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
A display model of the GPHS module.
GPHS Module (Display model)
The expanse of Jezero Crater’s river delta is shown in this panorama of 64 stitched-together images taken by the Mastcam-Z system on NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover on April 11, 2022.
Jezero Crater's Delta Is Getting Closer
Graphite Impact Shell (GIS).
Graphite Impact Shell (GIS)
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
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
Covered in a thick global haze, Saturn's moon Titan is a major source of interest for planetary scientists.
Seeing the surface of Titan
A montage of New Horizons images of Jupiter and its volcanic moon Io, taken during the spacecraft's Jupiter flyby in early 2007.
Astronaut Alan Bean prepares the RTG to be fueled.
Fueling the RTG on the Moon (image 1)
An illustration of NASA's Pioneer 11 flying by Jupiter.
Pioneer 11 at Jupiter (Illustration)
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
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
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover, including its Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator, is shown on sol 108 of its mission in this image.
NASA's Perseverance Near the Rim of Adziilii Crater
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
This image shows the closest face-on view of Neptune's Great Dark Spot captured by the Voyager 2 spacecraft during the only visit to the most distant of the eight major planets in our solar system.
Neptune's Great Dark Spot
The Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package, ALSEP, was a collection of geophysical instruments designed to continue to monitor the environment of each Apollo landing site.
RPS 60th: ALSEP Shareable
Scientist for a Day is an essay contest that challenges students in grades 5-12 to think like scientists.
Scientist for a Day Flyer - 2020-21
An American Superconductor free-piston Stirling Convertor.
American Superconductor Free-Piston Stirling Convertor
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While the spacecraft continues to return science data and otherwise operate as normal, the mission team is searching for the source of a system data issue.
Engineers Investigating NASA's Voyager 1 Telemetry Data
The rocks Perseverance has analyzed for sample collection are helping the team better understand a past marked by volcanic activity and water.
NASA's Perseverance Rover Collects Puzzle Pieces of Mars' History
Six decades after the launch of the first nuclear-powered space mission, Transit IV-A, NASA is embarking on a bold future of human exploration and scientific discovery.
After 60 Years, Nuclear Power for Spaceflight is Still Tried and True
This Sources Sought Notice seeks capabilities, innovative ideas for new system development, fiscal estimates, and potential collaboration that could lead to an industry/Government contract for development of a Dynamic Radioisotope Power System (DRPS) for use on the moon with desired extensibility to other solar system destinations.
Dynamic Radioisotope Power Systems Sources Sought Notice has been Released
Humanity's first and (so far) last visit to the outermost giant planet in our solar system was a monumental event for scientists and the public alike.
Power for Decades: Radioisotope Generator Helps Voyager 2 Keep Exploring 30 Years After Neptune Flyby
Two NASA scientists studying next-generation thermoelectric materials and converters for applications to radioisotope power systems have been awarded the 2019 Outstanding Achievement Award by the International Thermoelectric Society for their decades-long leadership and contributions to the field.
International Thermoelectric Society Honors Two NASA Scientists for Contributions to Advancements in Radioisotope Power Technology