Future space travel that NASA and other space agencies are struggling to cope with.There is a problem with future space travel that NASA and other space agencies are struggling to cope with. Not only is the exploration of the cosmos extremely expensive, but it also requires a tremendous amount of energy.While solar power will work for some missions, it is of no use when it comes to sending spacecraft into deep space. Last week, NASA announced that Voyager 1, launched in 1977, crossed into interstellar space. That means it is beyond the reach of the sun and depends on your own power supply on board. 1 along with other crafts such as the now-defunct Cassini probe and the Curiosity explorer exploring Mars rely on a radioactive isotope called plutonium 238. It is an artificial element that we discovered as a by-product of nuclear weapons manufacture. And we're running out of time.In the 1960s, NASA had a so-called SNAP Program for Nuclear Auxiliary Power that developed, among other things, the RTG radioisotope thermoelectric generator. This is, in fact, a small piece of decaying plutonium 238 that emits heat and energy when it decomposes and can be charged in a spaceship to feed it for years. But plutonium-238 supplies are declining.
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