China’s moon rover to run on nuclear power

August 13th, 2012 - 6:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 13 (IANS) China’s first moon rover will run on a nuclear-powered battery, a scientist said.

The rover lands on moon next year on board Chang’e-3, China’s third lunar probe, said Ouyang Ziyuan, the chief scientist of China’s lunar project.

The battery will be able to power the 100-kg vehicle for more than 30 years, reported Shanghai Daily.

“The nuclear power system will make China the third country apart from the United States and Russia to be able to apply nuclear technology to space exploration,” Ouyang was quoted as saying.

The rover, controlled by scientists on Earth, will patrol the surface for at least three months, said Ye Peijian, another senior official.

Ouyang said the rover would be powered by the sun during daytime and by nuclear power during the night.

A lunar night is for 14 days with extremely low temperatures and the battery will be the only source of energy during that period, preventing the equipment from freezing.

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