Source: WBIR | Annie Carr | July 9, 2019

Scientists in Oak Ridge, Tennessee helped land the first men on the moon. Now, they are a part of NASA’s mission into deep space.

Researchers from East Tennessee have been part of almost every major technical advancement over the last 75 years. From nuclear energy to computers to touchscreen smartphones, Oak Ridge scientists have played their part.

One of their next projects – helping power NASA’s future missions into deep space.

Right now, NASA uses solar power for almost everything in space, but there are some places where the sun isn’t an option.

“When you go to certain parts of the solar system, like the dark side of the moon and mars, you don’t have solar,” Hassler said. “So you have to use another power source.”

That’s where KRUSTY comes in. It’s essentially a nuclear reactor that could fit in the trunk of a car. It makes its own power using enriched uranium. Researchers believe it could create enough energy to power a colony on Mars.

Researchers from East Tennessee have been part of almost every major technical advancement over the last 75 years. From nuclear energy to computers to touchscreen smartphones, Oak Ridge scientists have played their part.

One of their next projects – helping power NASA’s future missions into deep space.

Right now, NASA uses solar power for almost everything in space, but there are some places where the sun isn’t an option.

“When you go to certain parts of the solar system, like the dark side of the moon and mars, you don’t have solar,” Hassler said. “So you have to use another power source.”

That’s where KRUSTY comes in. It’s essentially a nuclear reactor that could fit in the trunk of a car. It makes its own power using enriched uranium. Researchers believe it could create enough energy to power a colony on Mars.

Researchers from East Tennessee have been part of almost every major technical advancement over the last 75 years. From nuclear energy to computers to touchscreen smartphones, Oak Ridge scientists have played their part.

One of their next projects – helping power NASA’s future missions into deep space.

Morris Hassler is the senior director of Global Security and Strategic Partnerships at Y-12 National Complex. He oversaw the Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling Technology project, nicknamed KRUSTY.

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