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Solar energy for travel to Mars is more efficient than nuclear energy

A new study shows that Solar energy would be a better option than nuclear energy for manned missions to Mars near the planet's equator. Solar energy used by NASA Mars robotic probes such as Spirit and Opportunity and the InSight lander. Berliner and co-author Anthony Abel (Aaron Berliner) PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and members of the Center for the Implementation of Biotechnology in Space (Center for the Utilization of Biological Engineering in Space) or "Cubs" (CUBES) advanced this article.

The study authors noted that humans can clean the Solar panels in a clean place from the problem of dust accumulation that has plagued Martian spacecraft for years. , prevent. For example, a severe dust storm in 2018 ended the Opportunity Mission. The criteria for Solar intensity and surface temperature are superior to a nuclear fission system in terms of mass required and energy produced. Mars' poles, however, will be a more difficult environment for astronauts to tolerate because they are exposed to less sunlight and more temperature fluctuations than the tropics.

"Near the equator, Solar energy prevails, but near the poles, nuclear energy prevails."

BingMag.com <b>Solar</b> <b>energy</b> for <b>travel</b> to <b>Mars</b> is <b>more</b> <b>efficient</b> <b>than</b> <b>nuclear</b> energy

This is a good choice for power supply on manned missions to the equator of Mars, despite the dust settling on the Solar panels.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This study considers not only the mass and energy of the two Solar and nuclear systems, but also environmental conditions such as how light is absorbed or scattered by gases and particles in the atmosphere. The aim of this study was to better understand the amount of Solar radiation to the surface of Mars and then identify the best place to deploy Solar arrays. Solar arrays use electricity to divide water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen, and Hydrogen is pressurized to store in tanks. Hydrogen is then used in fuel cells to generate electricity. Unnecessary hydrogen can also be converted to help produce ammonia to fertilize plants; Of course, as long as hydrogen combines with nitrogen, similar to what is done on Earth.

Other technologies, such as electrolysis of water to create hydrogen and hydrogen fuel cells, may be used on Mars, the researchers said. These systems are usually expensive on Earth but can change the level of the Red Planet because on Mars everything must either be shipped from our planet at great cost or produced from locally sourced sources.

Berliner "The state of Solar energy is in line with what is currently being done at CUBES," he said. The goal of this engineering group is to produce microbes that can produce drugs from carbon dioxide and hydrogen plastic and from carbon dioxide and sunlight. But because this new article also entails costs for electricity and hydrogen on Mars, researchers plan to use it to further develop CUBES biotechnology. "It is expected that a complete model of The system will be built with all available components to help plan a mission to Mars, assess cost-effectiveness, identify hazards, and provide mitigation strategies before or during the mission.

Cover Photo: Plan Graphics of a manned mission to Mars
Credit: NASA

Sources: Space, Gizmodo

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