Category Archives: spacecraft

LA Times Q & A on WIPP accident contains a spooky picture and a frightening answer

The Los Angeles Times ran a Q & A piece today on the February accident and radioactive release at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico. Most of the questions were ignorant, and the answers ranged from simplistic to … Continue reading

Posted in Cassini-Huygens, NASA, Nuclear waste, Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators, spacecraft, Waste Isolation Pilot Plant | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Slightly less nasty technology may soon keep deep-space missions warm: Replacing plutonium with americium

All: This is one of those half-a-loaf stories. World Nuclear News reported yesterday: Initial success in demonstrating the feasibility of “space batteries” has led to the UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) being awarded further developmental work by the European Space … Continue reading

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Incoming!: Phobos-Grunt to come crashing to earth next month, possibly trailing clouds of toxic materials, radioactive debris

Phobos-Grunt has now been deemed unrecoverable, as the BBC just reported: Russia’s space agency (Roscosmos) says its unsuccessful Mars probe will fall back to Earth next month. The unmanned Phobos-Grunt spacecraft became stranded in orbit in November. The agency says … Continue reading

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NASA Mars Rover will carry over ten pounds of plutonium into space, raising questions about Russian Mars mission

World Nuclear News carried an article today on the NASA Mars Rover Curiosity, scheduled to be launched on next week:   Curiosity’s nuclear battery is the first of a new ‘multi-mission’ design that uses solid state thermocouples to produce electricity … Continue reading

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