• NASA's deep-space nuclear-power crisis may soon end, thanks to a clever new robot in Tennessee

    9 days ago - By Business Insider

    NASA relies on plutonium-238 , a human-made radioactive element, to power its longest-operating and farthest-flying spacecraft.
    Nearly all Pu-238 was made during the Cold War, and supplies are running low. The shortage threatens to limit deep-space exploration.
    The Department of Energy is now making new Pu-238 and recently achieved an eight-fold increase in production with a new robot.
    Oak Ridge National Laboratory says its robot is "the next key step" in making enough plutonium to perpetually meet the needs of NASA .
    The US government says a new robot is poised to help it create a...
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