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RPS: Radioisotope Power Systems

Introduction

For more than five decades, radioisotope power systems have played a critical role in the exploration of space, enabling missions of scientific discovery to destinations across the solar system. These amazing voyages have helped to reveal the nature of Earth's moon, allowed us to witness icy geysers and sulfur volcanoes on moons of the outer planets, and sustained long journeys to the outer reaches of our sun's influence.

NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy are working to ensure that this vital space power technology will be available to enable and enhance ambitious solar system exploration missions in this decade and beyond.

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Before visiting this website, did you know NASA uses nuclear power for some missions that explore the solar system?






Exploration Timeline
Radioisotope-Enabled Missions
 
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Nimbus III Apollo 11 Pioneer 10 Pioneer 11 Apollo 12-17 Viking 1 Lander Viking 2 Lander Voyager 1 Voyager 2 Galileo Ulysses Galileo Probe Mars Pathfinder Sojourner Rover Cassini Huygens Spirit Opportunity Mars Science Laboratory Rover New Horizons Radioisotope-Enabled Missions
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