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Thread: NASA KRUSTY nuclear reactor - photo

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    Altair's Avatar
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    NASA KRUSTY nuclear reactor - photo

    NASA's Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling Technology (KRUSTY) prototype fission reactor for space travel. The reactor uses uranium-235 to generate heat that is carried to the Stirling converters with passive sodium heat pipes.




    More:

    https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/kilopower


    Previously:

    Nuclear reactor lid bolt - photo
    Forging a nuclear reactor - photo
    Starting a nuclear reactor - GIF

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    Supporting Member Scotsman Hosie's Avatar
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    Scotsman Hosie's Tools
    I'm just wondering what it's used for. A sterling engine(s) still can't paddle a spacecraft around the solar system. Or would it be for generating electricity? Hydraulics, or any kind of powered mechanical movement? When solar panels just won't cut it.

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    Supporting Member Crusty's Avatar
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    Crusty's Tools
    I saw this and contacted NASA to insist that they change the name because I had a prior claim and they told me to go pound silicate minerals.
    If you can't make it precise make it adjustable.

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    Supporting Member mklotz's Avatar
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    mklotz's Tools
    Quote Originally Posted by Scotsman Hosie View Post
    I'm just wondering what it's used for. A sterling engine(s) still can't paddle a spacecraft around the solar system. Or would it be for generating electricity? Hydraulics, or any kind of powered mechanical movement? When solar panels just won't cut it.
    Solar cells become useless for spacecraft that get far from the sun so reactors are used. The Stirling (note spelling) engines provide a simple way to convert the heat from the atomic pile into mechanical motion to drive a generator. Efficiency is high because the coldness of space provides a large temperature differential for the engines - see Carnot's theorem...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnot...hermodynamics)
    Last edited by mklotz; 04-11-2020 at 12:02 PM.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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    Supporting Member Crusty's Avatar
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    Crusty's Tools
    I'd guess that heat from the reactor also is used to maintain the equipment at more normal operating temperatures in the intensely cold environment of space.


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    If you can't make it precise make it adjustable.

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