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Utilizing Radioisotope Power Systems for Human Lunar ExplorationThe Vision for Space Exploration has a goal of sending crewed missions to the lunar surface as early as 2015 and no later than 2020. The use of nuclear power sources could aid in assisting crews in exploring the surface and performing In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) activities. Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) provide constant sources of electrical power and thermal energy for space applications. RPSs were carried on six of the crewed Apollo missions to power surface science packages, five of which still remain on the lunar surface. Future RPS designs may be able to play a more active role in supporting a long-term human presence. Due to its lower thermal and radiation output, the planned Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) appears particularly attractive for manned applications. The MCNPX particle transport code has been used to model the current SRG design to assess its use in proximity with astronauts operating on the surface. Concepts of mobility and ISRU infrastructure were modeled using MCNPX to analyze the impact of RPSs on crewed mobility systems. Strategies for lowering the radiation dose were studied to determine methods of shielding the crew from the RPSs.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Schreiner, Timothy M.
(Oregon State Univ. OR, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 2005
Publication Information
Publication: Summer Student Research Presentations
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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