Feasibility of Isotopic Power for Manned Lunar Missions. Volume 1. Summary. Page: 10 of 61
This report is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided to Digital Library by the UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
The results of this study have shown conclusively that the applica-
tion of radioisotopic power to the Apollo mission is entirely feasible
and that a radioisotope power system (RIPS) would weigh less than tne
current fuel cell system; that nuclear safety can be achieved and
radiation exposure to the crew maintained well within acceptable
limits; that the RIPS can be developed within the time limits imposed
for a very reasonable cost; and, that tne power system reliability
specification not only can be met but can be exceeded.
It is further concluded tnat among the energy conversion devices
considered, the thermoelectric system is the most nearly representa-
tive of current state of the art and therefore, development risks are
minimal. Furthermore, this static energy converter has the relia-
bility necessary for manned missions beyond earth orbit. The growth
potential of the thermoelectric system for application at higher power
levels is limited by its relatively low efficiency and consequent burden
on isotopic fuel supplies.
To reduce the amount of fuel required for higher powered isotopic
systems--three to five kilowatts(e)--higher efficiency systems are
required. Potentially, higher efficiency can be achieved with a number
of dynamic systems. Each of these potential systems possesses signif-
icant problem areas which must first be resolved before individual
system feasibility can be established. The choice of a single, high
efficiency system for further development depends on the technical
assessment of the probability that the basic problems associated with
that system will be solved. Further, should these basic problems be
solved, the resultant system must meet the intended mission require-
ments. Among the most important of these mission requirements is
that of system reliability extending over mission durations of a few days
Unfortunately, there is no simple formula by which the technical
assessments mentioned can be made. We can evaluate the history of
the technology behind each system and attempt, using our best technical
judgment, to determine the probability that the problems will be solved
and that mission requirements will be met.
Inherent problems in dynamic systems include bearing, heat trans-
fer and dynamic stability problems. For some systems, these problems
are associated with the high temperatures at which they must operate
to achieve attractive performance. Other systems involve boiling,
condensing and/or lubrication problems in a zero g environment.
...... ..... . ...
Here’s what’s next.
This report can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Report.
Feasibility of Isotopic Power for Manned Lunar Missions. Volume 1. Summary., report, January 1, 1964; Baltimore, Maryland. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1032333/m1/10/: accessed May 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.