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Title: Nuclear power - How safe in space

The use of nuclear-powered spacecraft is examined. The nuclear-powered radioisotopic thermoelectric generators (RTGs) serve only as power generators and are not involved in the propulsion of the spacecraft. The plutonium power core is contained in a graphite container in order to ensure safety in the event of a launch accident or the possible reentry of the lunar module into the earth's atmosphere. The operation of the RTG is described. Various experiments and applications for the RTGs, such as the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package, the Viking Mars explorers, and Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft, are discussed.
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
5807104
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Space World; (United States); Journal Volume: X-9-285
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; SPACE POWER REACTORS; SAFETY; RADIOISOTOPE BATTERIES; RELIABILITY; SPACECRAFT POWER SUPPLIES; THERMOELECTRIC GENERATORS; DIRECT ENERGY CONVERTERS; ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT; EQUIPMENT; MOBILE REACTORS; POWER REACTORS; POWER SUPPLIES; REACTORS NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems 210600* -- Power Reactors, Auxiliary, Mobile Package, & Transportable