Nuclear Power For Aussie Initiatives To The Moon And Mars

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation is collaborating with a startup company on the development of robust nuclear-based power solutions for satellites and space vehicles.

Last year, the company was part of a team that received an Australian Space Agency Moon to Mars Demonstrator Feasibility grant to design a radioisotope heater unit for operation during extremely cold lunar nights.The project encompasses the selection of a radiation source, design of a pellet using numerical heat transfer and radiation-transport models, design of a ballistic casing and thermal shielding, manufacturing of a prototype, testing and logistics and regulatory challenges for the irradiation.

FutureNow scholarship recipient and nuclear engineer Dr Mardus-Hall saying “A large chunk of the work package that includes the selection of a radioisotope, radiation modelling, design of the pellet and shielding, was the responsibility of (the startup company) Ouranos Systems”

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