Scientists Discuss a New Power Source for Future Space Exploration

A New Power Source for Future Space Exploration

Mars fission power system concept. Credit: NASA

NASA and its partners will host a news conference at noon EST (9 a.m. PST) Thursday, January 18, at the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas, to discuss a recent experiment involving a new power source that could provide the safe, efficient and plentiful energy needed for future robotic and human space exploration missions.

Audio of the news conference and presentation slides will stream live on NASA’s website.

Representatives from NASA, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA’s) Los Alamos National Laboratory and Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) will discuss and take questions on the Kilopower project, which aims to demonstrate space fission power systems technology that has the potential to enable future crewed surface missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond. Testing began in November 2017 and is expected to continue through March.

The news conference participants will be:

  • Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate
  • Angela Chambers, manager of the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Criticality Safety Program
  • Mark Martinez, president of Mission Support and Test Services, LLC, which manages and operates the Nevada National Security Site for the NNSA
  • Janet Kavandi, director of NASA’s Glenn Research Center
  • Lee Mason, NASA’s principal technologist for power and energy storage
  • Pat McClure, Kilopower project lead at Los Alamos
  • Marc Gibson, Kilopower lead engineer at Glenn Research Center
  • Dave Poston, chief reactor designer at Los Alamos

Media interested in participating in the event, in person or by phone, must send their name, media affiliation and phone number to Gina Anderson at [email protected] no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday, January 16.

Members of the public also can ask questions during the briefing on social media using #AskNASA.

Supporting images and video will be available online at:

The Kilopower project is part of NASA’s Game Changing Development program and is led by the agency’s Glenn Research Center, in partnership with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, Los Alamos, NNSS and the Y-12 National Security Complex.

1 Comment on "Scientists Discuss a New Power Source for Future Space Exploration"

  1. The Kilopower Project is long over due for NASA and others ! This Power can power Ion Rocket Engines to the outer Solar System without cutting back on power. And powerful radar can map below the surface of a planet or other Space Bodies ! And maybe can fund JIMO again… Also this Power can power the commercial Clementine Base at the Lunar South Pole. The Lunar Base can map and learn how to recover the Lunar Water Ice. The Water Ice can be broken down to LUNar OXygen (LUNOX) that has many uses. The Hydrogen can be used as Rocket Fuel. And Heated Hydrogen can recover Solar Wind Gases from the Lunar Regolith. Back to the Moon to Stay and onto Mars and Beyond-Ad Astra… tjl

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