Sunday, May 22, 2005

Scale model of the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter, now scheduled for launch in 2017. JIMO, as it's called, is about 200 feet long. The panels in the center of the ship are not for solar power, they are heat radiators for the nuclear power plant located at the nose of the ship. The thrusters and science assembly are at the stern. JIMO's uranium-fueled nuclear power plant will create electricity through a nuclear reaction, much like conventional reactors on Earth. It will provide all power for the ship, including the electric-ion propulsion system. This differs from nuclear powered robotic missions to date, which have used RTGs for ship's power and standard chemical rockets for propulsion. The reactor is being developed by NASA in a program called Project Prometheus. (Click here for more details.) Posted by Hello


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