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NASA to allow nuclear power systems for next Discovery mission, Plutonium 238 RTGs becoming available again.
post Mar 20 2018, 07:26 PM
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Junior Member

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Good news for planetary exploration !

NASA made that decision based on projected use of existing stocks of plutonium-238 for upcoming missions, such as the Mars 2020 rover. Dragonfly, one of the two finalists for the next New Frontiers medium-class planetary science mission, also plans to use a radioisotope power system, as well as potential future missions the moon that require nuclear power to operate through the two-week lunar night.


Canada was supposed to help with Pu238 production, at its CANDU nuclear plants in Ontario, but apparently there has been some political interference that is making the venture difficult or impossible.
(CANDU reactors are currently used for production of large quantities of Cobalt-60 for both medical and industrial use).
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post Mar 20 2018, 11:05 PM
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Merciless Robot

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Gentle reminder to everyone who may choose to participate in this topic that in accordance with rule 1.2 discussions of the politics concerning policies such as this are not permitted. Talking about applications is fine.

A few will take this knowledge and use this power of a dream realized as a force for change, an impetus for further discovery to make less ancient dreams real.
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