NASA Works On A Nuclear Fission System To Help The Future Mars Colonization Missions

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With Mars colonization on their mind’s, NASA engineer work on nuclear fission systems to help the humans who will reach Mars in the future.

The USSR “cosmonaut” Yuri Gagarin was the first human to fly to space on April 12th, 1961, during the renowned Space Race that marked a significant part of the Cold War between the USA and Russia. However, the Americans were the first to put the foot on the Moon. Now, at about 60 years after the first flights in space, the things are different regarding space exploration.

With many private space companies ready to compete with governmental ones for achieving notoriety in history books, there is a new, modern Space Race which cares not about ideology differences, but about results. We have SpaceX with its BFR rockets, Blue Origin with its ideas of moving the heavy industry in space, and others around the world with different plans for space exploration.

For the moment, the final goal for NASA, SpaceX, and Russian space agency, why not, is Mars colonization which became the final frontier for the time being.

NASA Works On A Nuclear Fission System To Give Electricity For Mars Colonization Missions

For the moment, NASA is testing its Kilopower nuclear reactor, a small generator that would generate as much as 10 kilowatts of electrical power which, according to NASA, is “enough to run several average households, continuously, for at least ten years.”

“Most of our current spacecraft are powered by solar arrays and batteries which depend, obviously, on sunlight. But we want to go to missions in which there is no sunlight available – permanently shadowed craters on the Moon, the northern latitudes of Mars where sunlight is very limited. It’s in those applications that we see Kilopower really fitting well,” said Lee Mason, NASA’s principal researcher for power and energy storage.

Even more, in a full-operation test, Kilopower did precisely what it was supposed to do, and remained stable throughout the probing phase. In the future, this portable nuclear power electricity generator would be the centerpiece of Mars colonization missions.

If the NASA’s Kilopower nuclear fission system would be as successful in deep space as it is on Earth, then the electricity problem for the future Mars colonization mission would be solved out, and the first colonist who would put the foot on the Red Planet would be able to take advantage of this generator for their mission.