03:43 GMT +313 December 2019
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    Kilopower Technology Could Be Used for Lunar Night Operations, Surface Missions - NASA

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Kilopower technology, which is aimed at manufacturing nuclear reactors for space travel, could be deployed during night operations on the Moon and other extended surface missions, Jan Wittry, the news chief at NASA’s Glenn Research Center, said.

    "Kilopower could be a promising technology for lunar night operations and extended surface missions," Wittry said.

    He explained that the Kilopower project was in a pre-formulation phase.

    "Through a partnership with [US] Department of Energy, the project is establishing design requirements for embedded heat pipes, heat interface designs, and mission concept requirements for a future technology demonstration mission," he said.

    Wittry added that in the pre-formulation phase, the developers are also evaluating concepts for a future flight demonstration.

    "Such a demonstration could pave the way for future Kilopower systems that power human outposts on the Moon and Mars, including missions that rely on in-situ resource utilization to produce local propellants and other materials," he explained.

    Kilopower is a lightweight fission nuclear power system capable of providing up to 10 kilowatts of electrical power - enough to run several average households - continuously for at least ten years. Kilopower units would provide enough power to establish an outpost on the moon or distant planets.

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    Tags:
    nuclear reactor, surface, NASA, Moon
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