NASA’s nuclear powered lunar landers

by | Aug 13, 2008 | Seradata News | 0 comments

This image is from a video of a compressed air cylinders propelled prototype Modular Common Spacecraft Bus, tested by NASA Ames Research Center. The octagon-like common bus will be used for NASA’s 2011 launched Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) orbiter

According to NASA’s science mission directorate LADEE will be followed by lander missions for the International Lunar Network (ILN) and now we know that those landers could be nuclear powered

The ILN landers could form a wide area network of up to eight vehicles acting as nodes to conduct simultaneous seismological research to understand Moonquakes and the effect of meteor impacts

NASA’s Glenn Research Center is interested in alternative radioisotope power sources for this lunar surface element of ILN

The space agency wants a contractor to carry out a power system analysis to arrive at a recommendation of options for the first set of ILN spacecraft.

NASA wants contractors to consider a single radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG)module as the power source for a spacecraft that would be launched by an Orbital Sciences’ Minotaur rocket. The RTG, lunar environment study should also look for alternatives to plutonium as the isotope. The RTG could power a lunar Geophysical Instrument Package. The report is to be delivered on 19 September this year

The University Space Research Association, part of the Center for Space Nuclear Research (CSNR), located at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), is to work with NASA

The INL has participated in the development of both NASA’s General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) and the Multi-Mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator (MMRTG). The GPHS radioisotope thermoelectric generator has been used for NASA’s Galileo, Ulysses, and Cassini  missions. The MMRTG would use eight GPHS modules and it is being used for NASA’s 2009 launched Mars Science Laboratory rover

According to NASA the CSNR will provide “unbiased and realistic” assessments of the availability of the GPHS source materials, (that’s plutonium to you or me) and timelines for providing small, low power radioisotope power sources for the ILN’s “first nodes”

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned Seradata database. Trusted by over 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, Seradata is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to https://www.seradata.com/product/

Related Articles

Categories

Archives

Tags

nasaspacexecoreviewsissesaArianespacevideochinaFalcon 9v1.2FT Block 525virgin galacticULAfalcon 9RoscosmosevaDGAspacewalkaviation weekaressoyuzIGTInternational Space StationRocket LabBeidouawardsBlue OriginspaceStarlinkSatellite broadcastingrussiamoonAirbus DSboeingISROCargo Return VehiclemarsblogresearchOneWebspaceshiptwojaxaorionmarsimpactdelayhyperbolaEutelsatdemocratrocketlunarhypertextobamagoogle lunar prizelaunchVegaSESbarack obamaconstellationtourismnorthfiguresthales alenia spacespaceflightIntelsatnode 2fundedRaymond Lygo2009Lockheed MartinExpress MD-2Elon MuskAtlas Vromess2dassault aviationaviationLucy2008wk2sstlukradiomissilesuborbitaldocking portexplorationAriane 5 ECAVirgin OrbittestinternetLong March 2D/2sts-122Ariane 5Northrop GrummanSLSChina Manned Space EngineeringElectronflightspace tourism2010cotsnewspapermissile defensegalileospaceportExpress AMU 1Long March 4Cbuildspace stationaltairsoyuz 2-1aProton Minternational astronautical congressshuttlespace shuttleEuropean Space AgencyLauncherOneCosmosIntelsat 23scaled compositesnew yorkrulesAriane 6hanleybudgetatvVietnamshenzhoucongressMojaveboldenLong March 2COrbital ATKInmarsatcnesnew shepardiaclunar landerGuiana Space CenterkscApollolawsSpace Systems/LoralUK Space AgencyLong March 4BKuaizhou 1AILSprotonUS Air ForceTalulah RileydarpaElectron KSFalcon 9v1.2 Block 5Vega CeuAstriumSkylonpicturebaseusaastronautdragonlanderfiveeventTelesatNorth KoreaSSLAprilSNC50thinterviewLong MarchSea LaunchfalconWednesdaycustomerlinkatlantissuccessor

Stay Informed with Seradata

Stay informed on the latest news, insights, and more from Seradata by signing up for our newsletter.