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[翻译]SCIENCE IN THE NEWS - NASA Tests Power System to Support Manned Missions to Mars

更新时间:2018/1/29 7:35:33 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

United States government agencies say the first tests of a very small nuclear power system designed for missions to Mars have been successful.

美国政府机构表示,为火星任务设计的小型核电力系统的首次测试取得了成功。

The American space agency NASA and the Department of Energy recently announced the results in Las Vegas, Nevada.

美国宇航局和美国能源部最近在内华达州拉斯维加斯市宣布了测试结果。

The officials said they will carry out a full test of the system in March.

官员们表示,他们将在三月份对该系统进行一次全面测试。

The project to design a small nuclear fission system is called Kilopower. Testing began last November at the Department of Energy’s Nevada National Security Site.

设计这种小型核裂变系统的项目被称之为Kilopower项目。相关测试于去年11月在美国能源部下属的内华达州国家安全基地开始进行。

The goal is to provide energy for future missions in space and possibly on the surface of Mars and other planets in our solar system.

其目标是为未来的太空任务以及可能登陆火星等太阳系行星表面提供电力。

NASA astronauts visited the surface of Earth’s moon six times between 1969 and 1972. But establishing a long-term colony on the surface of the moon or another planet is more difficult. Such missions need a power source strong enough to support a base but small and light enough for transport through space.

美国宇航局在1969年到1972年期间六次登陆了月球表面。但是在月球或其它星球表面建立一个长期居住区则更为困难。这类任务需要能量源足够强大到支持整个基地,还要又小又轻,可以通过太空进行运输。

Steve Jurczyk is the associate administrator of NASA‘s Space Technology Mission Directorate. He told the Reuters news service that the Martian environment presents problems.

Steve Jurczyk是美国宇航局空间技术任务署的副署长。他对路透社表示,火星环境存在问题。

He said, “Mars is a very difficult environment for power systems, with less sunlight than Earth or the moon, very cold nighttime temperatures, very interesting dust storms that can last weeks and months that engulf the entire planet.”

他说:“火星对电力系统来说环境非常艰难,它的日照少于地球和月球,夜间气温非常低,可以持续数周和数月的尘暴会覆盖整个星球。”

He said that Kilopower’s small size and strength make it possible to transport several of the systems on a single landing vehicle. They would then be able provide a colony or base with tens of kilowatts of power.

他说,Kilopower系统体积小巧,这使得在单台着陆车上运输多个该系统成为可能。然后它们可以为基地提供数十千瓦的电力。

Lee Mason is NASA’s expert on power and energy storage. He said Mars has been the main goal of the Kilopower project. He also noted that a human mission to Mars likely would require 40 to 50 kilowatts of power.

李·梅森(Lee Mason)是美国宇航局的电力和能源储备专家。他说,火星一直是Kilopower项目的主要目标。他还指出,火星载人任务可能需要40-50千瓦的电力。

Dave Poston is the chief reactor designer at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He said that testing on parts of the system have been “greatly successful.”

Dave Poston是洛斯阿拉莫斯国家实验室的首席反应堆设计师。他说,对该系统的部分测试非常成功。

“The models have predicted very well what has happened, and operations have gone smoothly,” he noted.

他指出:“模型早已完美预测了所发生的事情,并且各项操作进行得非常顺利。”

NASA’s test design of the nuclear power system uses a reactor core made of the substance uranium-235. The core is about the size of a roll of paper towels.

美国宇航局这一核动力系统的测试设计采用了一个由铀-235制成的反应堆堆芯。该堆芯只有一卷纸巾大小。

The technology could power life-support systems for people. It could help astronauts mine for resources, recharge vehicles and run equipment. Some equipment could change things such as ice on the planet into oxygen, water and fuel.

该技术可以为人们提供生命支持系统。它可以帮助宇航员开采资源、给车辆充电以及运行设备。一些设备可以将星球表面冰一类的东西转化为氧气、水以及燃料。

Experts think Kilopower could also possibly improve electrically powered spacecraft engines on missions to the outer planets of our solar system.

专家们认为,Kilopower系统可能还可以改进执行太阳系外行星探索任务的电动飞船。

I’m Pete Musto.

Words in This Story

mission –n. a task or a job given to a person or group

solar system –n. all the planets and other objects that orbit the sun

source –n. the provider of something that is needed or wanted

engulf –v. to flow over and cover

kilowatts –n. a measure of electrical power

reactor –n. a device (usually a large device) that produces energy from a nuclear reaction

core –n. the central part

paper towels –n. sheets of paper that are used for cleaning which usually come in rolls

recharge –v. to replace lost electrical power

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