National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center


Radial Core Heat Spreader to Improve Stirling Radioisotope Generator Heat Rejection recently posted this article. The NASA Glenn Research Center is developing the next generation of Stirling Radioisotope Generators (SRGs) to power deep space science missions. One potential technology gap is the waste heat rejection approach for higher power Stirling convertors. The previous 140W Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) used a copper alloy conduction flange […]

Powering A Manned Mission To Mars

The website Red Orbit created a video story featuring space nuclear power and Stirling technology. One of the greatest challenges of any space mission is creating enough power to operate it. While gasoline powered engines suffice on Earth, there are no refueling stations in space. A potential solution is to harness the power of the […]

Lockheed Shrinking ASRG Team as Closeout Work Begins recently published this article about closeout work for the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG):  Lockheed Martin Space Systems is shrinking a team of 140 down to 25 now that NASA has canceled work on the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), a next-generation nuclear battery for planetary missions that cannot rely on solar power. It will […]

NASA Pulls the Plug on Plutonium Power Source

“NASA has cancelled work on a troubled radioisotope power system intended to help the next generation of spacecraft reach the planets, moons and comets of the outer Solar System.” Read the rest of the article at Scientific American  

Next Big Future Features NASA Technology Roadmap for Space Power Generation and Energy Storage

“NASA has a space power and energy storage technology roadmap. Power system composes 20-30 percent of the spacecraft mass.The flaw in the NASA analysis is that they are focused on enabling space science missions using the technology roadmaps. They are not focused on developing a systematic plan changing the game in space. Spacex is working […]

Small Reactor for Deep Space Exploration Video Released by Los Alamos National Laboratory

This is the first demonstration of a space nuclear reactor system to produce electricity in the United States since 1965, and an experiment demonstrated the first use of a heat pipe to cool a small nuclear reactor and then harvest the heat to power a Stirling engine at the Nevada National Security Site’s Device Assembly […]

Los Alamos Lab Demonstrates A Reactor For Space Travel

Popular Science featured an article on the first new reactor prototype for space built in the U.S. since 1965. “For spacecraft, you really can’t beat the efficiency and simplicity of a nuclear power supply. From the Pioneer probes to the Mars rover Curiosity, a nuclear battery allows a slow drip of electricity where solar power would […]

Researchers Test Novel Power System for Space Travel

Joint NASA and DOE team demonstrates simple, robust fission reactor prototype CLEVELAND – A team of researchers from NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland and Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M. have demonstrated a new concept for a reliable nuclear reactor that could be used on space flights. On September 13, the research […]

Building ‘Venus on Earth’ (BBC Radio Interview)

NASA hopes to have finished building a 12-tonne chamber, designed to simulate conditions on the surface of the planet Venus, by May of this year. Dr Rodger Dyson, NASA engineer and leader of the Extreme Environment Test Chamber, explains what they aim to achieve. Listen to the interview on the BBC News website. 

A Venus Chamber on Earth

Wall Street Journal Online published the following article: A Venus Chamber on Earth By May, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration should be able to re-create the ferocious atmosphere of Venus—in Cleveland. No probe built today could survive on Venus for more than a couple of hours, which is precisely the problem that the Extreme […]