Power, Methods of Generating - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences

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Power, Methods of Generating

All space vehicles, whether robotic probes or vehicles for human exploration, require electrical power. Electrical power is required to run the computers and control systems, to operate the communications system, to operate scientific instruments, and to power the life support equipment to keep humans alive and healthy in space. For missions to the surface of the Moon or the planets, power may be required to run rovers, or to process material into useful products such as fuel or oxygen. Advanced rocket engines such as ion drives also run on electrical power.

Electrical power sources can be categorized into three basic types: batteries and fuel cells, solar power systems, and nuclear power systems.

For short missions, power can be provided by batteries or fuel cells, which produce power from chemical energy. Fuel cells are similar to batteries, producing electricity from a fuel and...

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This section contains 861 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Power, Methods of Generating Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences
Power, Methods of Generating from Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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