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.
The Department of Energy (DOE), in collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), has reached an important milestone towards reestablishing the ability to fuel future space exploration missions. >Original source
No extension cord is long enough to reach another planet, and there's no spacecraft charging station along the way. That's why researchers are hard at work on ways to make spacecraft power systems more efficient, resilient and long-lasting. >Original source