NASA, INL take next step toward developing dynamic radioisotope power system

November 23, 2021

By INL Media Relations

INL News Release
Nov. 23, 2021

Matthew Fisher, (860) 575-6142, [email protected]
Sarah Neumann, (208) 526-0490, [email protected]

NASA, INL take next step toward developing dynamic radioisotope power system

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has selected Aerojet Rocketdyne as the lead subcontractor for the first of three phases toward the development of a dynamic radioisotope power system for a lunar demonstration mission by the late 2020s as outlined in Space Policy Directive-6.

The goal of this technology demonstration is to develop and demonstrate performance of a system that is three times more efficient than the current radioisotope power system technology. The dynamic radioisotope power system will use decay heat from plutonium-238 to create electricity via dynamic power conversion.

The first phase of this multiphase project is a 13-month contract worth approximately $3 million to design a system-level dynamic radioisotope power system concept. With successful completion of the first phase, the project will progress through additional phases to fabricate and qualify a dynamic radioisotope power system for demonstration on the moon and for future science exploration missions. This effort is coordinated through NASA’s Radioisotope Power Systems program office.


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Battelle Energy Alliance manages INL for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy. INL is the nation’s center for nuclear energy research and development, celebrating 75 years of scientific innovations in 2024. The laboratory performs research in each of DOE’s strategic goal areas: energy, national security, science and the environment. 

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Posted November 23, 2021

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