Pocket-Sized Nuclear Reactors to Power NASA’s Mission to Mars

Is that a rocket in your pocket?  Why, no, it’s a nuclear reactor.  You got a problem with that?!  NASA is working on making that sentence a possibility.

They’re working on building what they’re calling an “ultra-simple” nuclear reactor, or reactors that you could (if you wanted to) LITERALLY put in your pocket.

The reactors are being developed as part of the mission to Mars.

NASA testing ultra-simple small nuclear reactors that will power missions to Mars and beyond

NASA is pushing forward on testing a key energy source that could literally “empower” human crews on the Mars surface, energizing habitats and running on-the-spot processing equipment to transform Red Planet resources into oxygen, water and fuel.

* A small pill size rod of Boron Carbide will turn on the reactor
* Beryllium oxide reflectors will enhance the nuclear reaction so less uranium is needed
* a 6 inch uranium core is used

Well established physics are used for a design targeted at needing almost no control system to safely generate up to 10 kilowatts of power for many years.

Read More at Next Big Future

 

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About Paul Gordon 1520 Articles

Paul Gordon is the publisher and editor of iState.TV. He has published and edited newspapers, poetry magazines and online weekly magazines.
He is the director of Social Cognito, an SEO/Web Marketing Company. You can reach Paul at pg@istate.tv