[ RadSafe ] Harwell to develop European RTGs
jaro-10kbq at sympatico.ca
Sat Jun 20 09:54:34 CDT 2009
ESA Center in U.K. Will Work on RTGs
Aviation Week & Space Technology Jun 22 , 2009 , p. 15
Edited by Frank Morring, Jr.
ESA will inaugurate a new facility at Harwell, England, on July 22 that will
be dedicated to science, including planetary exploration and climate change.
Creation of the installation, which parallels ESA technical facilities in
the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Sweden and Spain, was decided last November
partly to help build support for space within the U.K. ESA Science Director
David Southwood says the center, which will employ some 70 people when fully
operational, will aim to help the agency draw on the broad spectrum of
know-how and creativity of the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, where
it will be located.
Among the tasks with which Harwell will be entrusted is developing a
European source for radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs), which the
agency considers a prerequisite for developing a robust exploration program.
ESA relies on the U.S. and Russia for RTGs but, as with other critical
technologies, has put together a road map to develop its own sources of
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