Mercury headed to International Space Station
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. & LINCOLN, Neb., April 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — A Physics and Astronomy group from the University of Nebraska (Lincoln) has teamed with Rhombus Power Inc. for measuring the solar neutron flux at the International Space Station. This UNL team has won a two-year NASA grant to further research the generation of electric power using neutrons for future deep space flights.
The primary objective of this project is to develop power sources called neutron-voltaics, a type of “solar cell” that works with neutrons that are easily made in space. Such power sources are needed for satellites that go deep into space far beyond the realm of our solar system in regions where solar panels do not work.
“The Mercury platform is uniquely suited for real-time measurement of the solar neutron flux background at the International Space Station because of its ease-of-use, reliability and accuracy,” said Prof. Axel Enders who leads the UNL team. “This measurement will help us understand how our materials experience fatigue in a space environment because of exposure to cosmic radiation and various radiations in space,” he said.
Rhombus founder and CEO, Dr. Anshu Roy, said, “We are pleased to offer our award-winning Mercury platform to the University of Nebraska team and NASA for this exciting mission.”