Powering Past Pluto:  Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs), also know as 'space batteries', have been powering space capabilities and exploration since the early 1960's.  These batteries have been used for many space missions, including Apollo, Pioneer, Viking, Voyager, Galileo, and the lunar lander. An RTG is also providing power for the New Horizons spacecraft.  It was launched in January 2006 and will conduct a flyby study of Pluto during the summer of 2015, with the closest approach scheduled for July 14, 2015.  In addition to supporting space flight, these batteries have also provided power for weather, communications, and navigational satellites.  More Information  

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Welcome to the Department of Energy (DOE) Research and Development (R&D) Accomplishments, a central forum for information about the outcomes of past DOE R&D that

  • have had significant economic impact,
  • have improved people's lives, or
  • have been widely recognized as remarkable advances in science.

An R&D accomplishment is the outcome of past DOE or predecessor research whose benefits are being realized now.

This site is comprised of the R&D Accomplishments Database, Featured Scientists/Topics pages, Laureates, Interesting Insights, and Snapshots. More information about DOE R&D Accomplishments content is available on the About page.

Remarkable advances in science are widely recognized when they lead to the Nobel Prize or the Enrico Fermi Award. Research and development accomplishments are exemplified by over one hundred ten (110) Nobel Laureates associated with the Department of Energy and/or predecessor agencies and by sixty (60) Enrico Fermi Award winners. DOE R&D Accomplishments provides information about these Nobel Laureates, the Enrico Fermi Laureates, and their outstanding achievements.

DOE R&D Accomplishments improves the visibility of DOE and predecessor accomplishments by broadening and integrating access to important advances made possible by past research and development, thus showcasing the Department's proud heritage.


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