NASA has just completed a 1-kilowatt (1KW) grade mini-reactor, which will begin testing this month and will be used in space after successful testing.
According to reports, the mini-reactor is named "kilowatt power", which is named after its power. It uses low-concentration solid uranium 235 as fuel (7%), and the sodium metal circulation heat transfer pipe is used as a heat exchanger, utilizing a highly efficient history. The Trin Engine promotes the conversion of AC engines into electricity. Since the volume and power are very small, there are not many surplus products after the nuclear reaction. In the 15 years of operation, only 0.12% of surplus products will occur, and the amount of radiation pollution will also be negligibly small.
NASA is working with the U.S. Department of Energy to conduct tests. Tests will continue until the beginning of 2018. The "kilowatt power" will be tested for 28 hours of full power. Lead researcher Mark Gibson said: "We are going to the Nevada Test Center, where it will prove the feasibility and safety of this technology. Because the reactor will be used for spacecraft, it will be tested in a vacuum chamber, Operate the equipment under the conditions."
Another researcher at the "Kilowatt Power," said Patrick McClure, head of the Rose Alamos National Laboratory, said: "This is our first nuclear reactor for space research. The space reactor must provide stable, high-energy electricity. To enable the spacecraft to operate without solar energy and to adapt to the extremely harsh conditions such as the surface of Mars."
Lee Mason of the NASA Space Technology Committeeâ€™s Energy Development Group said: â€œOur development of 'kilowatt power' is also a better choice for future space missions than nuclear power batteries.
Nuclear batteries can only supply a few hundred watts of electricity, but going to Mars exploration requires more electricity. I also hope that the 'kilowatt power' is only the first step. In the future, it can evolve into hundreds of kilowatts and even millions of kilowatts of power systems for use by permanent space sites. â€
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