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metermaid

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Nuclear Reactors in Space
« on: Mar 10, 2007, 10:17 »
The United States has launched more than 20 radioisotopic thermoelectric generators (RTGs) into space over the past 30 yr but has launched only one nuclear reactor, and that was in 1965. Russia has launched more than 30 reactors. The RTGs use the heat of alpha decay ofPu-238 for power and typically generate<1 kW of electricity. Apollo, Pioneer, Voyager, Viking, Galileo, Ulysses, and Cassini all used RTGs. Space reactors use the fission energy of U-235; typical designs are for 100 to 1000 kW of electricity. The only US space reactor launch (SNAP-10A) was a demonstration mission. One reason for the lack of space reactor use by the United States was the lack of space missions that required high power. But, another was the assumed negative publicity that would accompany a reactor launch.

Offline Mike McFarlin

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Re: Nuclear Reactors in Space
« Reply #1 on: Mar 10, 2007, 08:26 »
Well I guess Russia won that space race!
"Duty is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less." General Robert E. Lee, C.S.A.

Offline SloGlo

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Re: Nuclear Reactors in Space
« Reply #2 on: Mar 10, 2007, 09:37 »
wonder watt da rushins need alla dat power for?
quando omni flunkus moritati

dubble eye, dubble yew, dubble aye!

dew the best ya kin, wit watt ya have, ware yinze are!

Offline Mike McFarlin

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Re: Nuclear Reactors in Space
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2007, 06:39 »
Making Vodka.
"Duty is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less." General Robert E. Lee, C.S.A.

 


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