Radioisotope Power Systems
Many of the most amazing views in the history of space exploration have been sent to Earth by missions enabled by radioisotope power. Some of those breathtaking views are featured here.
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Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists have automated part of the process of producing plutonium-238, which is used by NASA to fuel deep space exploration.
Department of Energy Applies Automation to Improve Plutonium Fuel Production
David Woerner’s paper on “Next-Generation RTGs for NASA” won the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) 2017 Aerospace Power Systems Best Paper Award.
'Next-Generation RTGs for NASA' Paper Wins Award
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.
First and Farthest: How the Voyagers Blazed Trails
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.
NASA's Voyager at 40: Still Reaching for the Stars
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.
Spacecraft 'Nuclear Batteries' Could Get a Boost from New Materials
Ulysses, a joint NASA and European Space Agency mission, officially ceased operations today, after receiving commands from ground controllers to do so.
Ulysses Spacecraft Ends Historic Mission of Discovery