PDA

View Full Version : NASA Looks at Fission Reactors for Power on the Moon



Fraser
2008-Sep-11, 07:20 PM
When astronauts return to the moon for long duration missions, they will need reliable sources of power. Solar energy will be plentiful for the 28.5 Earth-day- long lunar day, but what about the equally as long lunar night? NASA engineers are exploring the possibility of nuclear fission to provide the necessary power. [...]

More... (http://www.universetoday.com/2008/09/11/nasa-looks-at-fission-reactors-for-power-on-the-moon/)

Ronald Brak
2008-Sep-11, 11:35 PM
I suppose a mini reactor would be the way to go if you were unskilled at building stuff on the moon. If you were competant at building stuff then you'd have the ability to install a heat pump in the lunar surface to make use of the temperature differential between the cold night surface and the warmer interior and save lugging the mass of uranium from earth and so it might be more economical. Of course, even fairly incompetant moon base residents (human or machine) could install simple thermocouples a few meters long into the ground, but that would be a fairly low grade power source and might only be economical if you had the ability to make them from lunar material which would mean you would have the ability to make stuff on the moon which would mean you would have the ability to install a proper heat pump.

JustAFriend
2008-Sep-12, 01:46 AM
Small fission power plants give you a very small portable (and powerful) setup.

Untill we get around to building large permanent underground cities, we'll have to move around a lot and do some exploring first....

toothdust
2008-Sep-14, 10:00 PM
Wouldn't the daylight period be half of 28.5, the other half being night?

KaiYeves
2008-Sep-14, 11:45 PM
If it's completely safe (as I'm sure it will be) I think this is a very good idea.

Ilya
2008-Sep-15, 03:28 PM
If it's completely safe (as I'm sure it will be) I think this is a very good idea.

Nothing is ever COMPLETELY safe, but it does not need to be. It only needs to be less dangerous than merely being on the Moon -- which is dangerous enough.

KaiYeves
2008-Sep-16, 01:38 AM
That's what I meant. Thanks, Ilya.