Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Isaac Asimov in 1964:
The appliances of 2014 will have no electric cords, of course, for they will be powered by long- lived batteries running on radioisotopes. The isotopes will not be expensive for they will be by- products of the fission-power plants which, by 2014, will be supplying well over half the power needs of humanity. But once the isotype batteries are used up they will be disposed of only through authorized agents of the manufacturer.
What might have been. Today I can read about the 30-year RTG in the Chinese moon rover:
Using plutonium-238, the battery will be able to power the 100-kilogram vehicle for more than 30 years, said Ouyang Ziyuan, chief scientist of China's lunar exploration program.

"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 said.

The moon rover is China's most advanced robot with complete automatic navigation and operations. It will be powered by the sun during daytime and by nuclear power during the night.

But where's my nuclear powered car? I'll settle for a 90Sr model...

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