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NASA Kilopower (space nuclear reactor)

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DocM    16,431

In development for several years, Kilopower has been stated to scalable, with outputs from 1-100 KWe. Stirling cycle tech.

 

Concept presentation (2016 PDF)....

 

SpaceNews op-ed....

 

The first full up test was scheduled to performed recently, and now they and their partners have scheduled a briefing for tomorrow - January 11, 2018.

 

This could eliminate the need for many RTG's, and allow for more powerful missions. Also usable for powering bases etc., and SpaceX has talked about using them.

 

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-partners-discuss-power-for-future-space-exploration

 

Quote

NASA, Partners Discuss Power for Future Space Exploration

 

NASA and its partners will host a news conference at noon EST (9 a.m. PST) Thursday, Jan. 18, at the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas, to discuss a recent experiment involving a new power source that could provide the safe, efficient and plentiful energy needed for future robotic and human space exploration missions.

Audio of the news conference and presentation slides will stream live on NASAs website.

Representatives from NASA, the National Nuclear Security Administrations (NNSAs) Los Alamos National Laboratory and Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) will discuss and take questions on the Kilopower project, which aims to demonstrate space fission power systems technology that has the potential to enable future crewed surface missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond. Testing began in November 2017 and is expected to continue through March.

The news conference participants will be:

Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator of NASAs Space Technology Mission Directorate


Angela Chambers, manager of the Department of Energys Nuclear Criticality Safety Program


Mark Martinez, president of Mission Support and Test Services, LLC, which manages and operates the Nevada National Security Site for the NNSA

Janet Kavandi, director of NASAs Glenn Research Center

Lee Mason, NASAs principal technologist for power and energy storage

Pat McClure, Kilopower project lead at Los Alamos

Marc Gibson, Kilopower lead engineer at Glenn Research Center

Dave Poston, chief reactor designer at Los Alamos

Media interested in participating in the event, in person or by phone, must send their name, media affiliation and phone number to Gina Anderson at gina.n.anderson@nasa.gov no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16.

Members of the public also can ask questions during the briefing on social media using #AskNASA.

Supporting images and video will be available online at:

https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/kilopower

The Kilopower project is part of NASAs Game Changing Development program and is led by the agencys Glenn Research Center, in partnership with NASAs Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, Los Alamos, NNSS and the Y-12 National Security Complex.

-end-

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,656

Very nice. :yes: That'll get bases-n-stuff by. Daisy chain 'em together as needed.

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DocM    16,431

 

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The Evil Overlord    18,440

This is such a bad idea, Cal'El was told, Zod's prison could be cracked by a nuclear explosion in space, (this facilitating their escape) these reactors are just the first step. :p

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Euphoria    1,975

634c34986745a74caf4de37853e694df[1].jpg

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Euphoria    1,975

On another note :)

 

kube6[1].jpg

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Unobscured Vision    2,656

They're starting the high-output tests now. :yes: I really want it to work out. So do a lot of other people.

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DocM    16,431

Kilopower works, and is scalable!

 

Better, NASA is talking about going commercial with it.

 

 

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IsItPluggedIn    1,684

Sooo can i have one at my house. Or at my camp site?

 

It would be interesting if they could make them safe for domestic use, i think the biggest issue would be people tampering with them. If they did make them for domestic use, then the price would drop a lot. They could make them for the smaller remote towns(Alaska,North Canada, Outback OZ), that currently run on generators, or if they could make them small enough for expedition work.

 

 

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DocM    16,431

They're being designed along with DoE for not just space but remote Earth locations. Because they're self-regulating with a negative feedback loop (as they heat up, activity declines) they could be buried in a vault. After its output declines, dig it up for recycling/replacement. 

 

More

 

INLs alternative to LANLs MegaPower - a 2MWe heat pipe reactor. Design Alternative A looks very do-able.

 

INL: Idaho Natl. Lab.
LANL: Los Alamos Natl. Lab.

 

Paper (PDF)...

 

Roadmap

1748531632_SmallReactor_2MWe_INL-DoE.thumb.jpg.bfe789b918eb6a0cfd5bb4c9cd718add.jpg

Edited by DocM
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DocM    16,431

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/lunar-power-system-team-wins-president-s-award

 

Lunar Power System Team Wins President's Award



In preparation of establishing a sustainable presence on the Moon by 2028, NASA is developing new technologies that will let astronauts land, live and explore the surface. In this video, Marc Gibson of NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland describes Kilopower, a power system to enable long-duration stays on planetary surfaces, including the Moon and Mars.

A team of engineers from NASA and the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration proved the system in a test called the Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling Technology (KRUSTY) demonstration last May.

This week, the KRUSTY team, including Gibson and Lee Mason, NASA’s principal technologist for power and energy storage, won a Gears of Government President's Award for the accomplishment.

Kilopower is a small, light-weight fission power system capable of providing up to 10 kilowatts of electrical power -- enough to run several average households continuously for at least 10 years. Four Kilopower units would provide enough power to establish an outpost on the Moon or Mars.

According to Gibson, the Kilopower lead engineer, the pioneering power system is ideal for the Moon, where power generation from sunlight is difficult because lunar nights are equivalent to 14 days on Earth.

The power source is designed to handle extreme environments. "On the Moon, Kilopower could be deployed to help search for resources in permanently shadowed craters," said Mason. "Kilopower also opens up the full surface of Mars, including the northern latitudes where water may reside."

Building on the successful ground demonstration in 2018, the team is evaluating concepts for a future flight or lunar surface demonstration mission. Such a demonstration could pave the way for future Kilopower systems that power human outposts on the Moon and Mars and enable astronauts to produce fuel, breathable air, water and other materials using planetary resources.

The Gears of Government Awards recognize individuals and teams across the federal workforce whose dedication supports exceptional delivery of key outcomes for the American people, specifically around mission results, customer service and accountable stewardship.

 

 

 

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