See how NASA has used Radioisotope Power Systems, or RPS, for more than 20 missions over the last 40-plus years. Hear about safety of RPS from the Department of Energy. Discover the advantages of an RPS that allow spacecraft like Voyager to still do important scientific maneuvers after being in the extreme environment of space for 30 years! And find out where an RPS could take us in the future.
Few missions can match the achievements of NASA's groundbreaking Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft during their 40 years of exploration. Here's a short list of their major accomplishments to date.
Humanity's farthest and longest-lived spacecraft, Voyager 1 and 2, achieve 40 years of operation and exploration this August and September. Despite their vast distance, they continue to communicate with NASA daily, still probing the final frontier.
A cutting-edge development in spacecraft power systems is a class of materials with an unfamiliar name: skutterudites (skut-ta-RU-dites). Researchers are studying the use of these advanced materials in a proposed next-generation power system called an eMMRTG, which stands for Enhanced Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator.
Ulysses, a joint NASA and European Space Agency mission, officially ceased operations today, after receiving commands from ground controllers to do so.