Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
Can nuclear waste help humanity reach for the stars?
With the shortage of plutonium-238 to power space missions, Europe has decided to focus on an accessible alternative material that could power future spacecraft: americium-241.
The ASRG Cancellation in Context
ASRGs could have stretched NASA's limited supply of plutonium to potentially enable missions to the perpetually-shadowed polar craters on our moon, to flyby Uranus, or to float for months on a Titan lake.
NASA Just Cancelled its Advanced Spacecraft Power Program
The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Program (ASRG) was just cancelled by NASA. This was to be the saving grace for Plutonium-238 availability, as it was a much more efficient way to generate electricity than classic RTG systems.
Power From the Isotopes
We report on the current state of Plutonium-238 production in the United States, a crucial fuel source for planetary exploration spacecraft.
Mars Needs Plutonium! (And so do Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Points Beyond)
Society Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator Casey Dreier visits Planetary Radio with the tale of an element that is essential to exploration of deep space.
Plutonium-238 is Crucial for Space Exploration – and it's Running Out
Plutonium-238 provides electricity to deep space missions, but NASA only has a little bit left. A new article in Wired highlights the disastrous consequences of no plutonium for use in space, something the Planetary Society is currently fighting for in Washington, D.C.