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Power

one conceptual line drawing of spacecraft

One conceptual design for the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter would place a large array of heat-shedding radiator panels between the spacecraft's power source and ion-propulsion thrusters.
Image details

In order to explore the distant reaches of the solar system, new technologies must be developed. These technologies would allow spacecraft to travel further and conserve more energy until they reach their destination.

Developing a safe nuclear power capability would enable NASA to meet its scientific goals for the next several decades and more thoroughly explore the outer edges of the solar system. The Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter Mission would demonstrate that a nuclear fission reactor can be developed for use in deep space, flown safely, and operated reliably on long-duration missions in the deep space environment to return valuable science. A nuclear fission reactor could produce unprecedented amounts of electrical energy to significantly improve scientific measurements, mission design options, and telecommunications capabilities. The expanded scientific capabilities would allow radar to penetrate deep into icy surfaces and allow extensive surface mapping in enough detail to see features as small as a house.

For more information about space fission technology, see the following resources:

Technology and Applications of Space Fission Reactors Systems
Use and Safety of Space Fission Reactors Systems




 
TECHNOLOGY

Power
Propulsion
Challenges
Commercialization


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