Packing for Mars? Don’t forget the nuclear reactor.

Did you see the movie The Martian ? The hero, Mark Watney, an astronaut given up for dead by NASA, uses a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG), a sort-of "space battery," to keep warm during his trek across Mars. The movie is science fiction but these devices are real- NASA has been using RTGs to power satellites for nearly forty years more

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