Researchers come up with a new way to search for water on the moon
(ORDO NEWS) — The Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) has developed a “flashlight” that emits X-rays and gamma rays. Project researchers believe it could be useful for finding resources on the moon.
The key to this technology is a USNC-developed radioisotope known as EmberCore. It is similar to the radioisotopes contained in the radioisotope heat generators used by the Curiosity and Perseverance rovers.
The EmberCore radioisotope can also be used as a power source for the apparatus, but it has clear advantages.
With a certain amount of shielding, EmberCore emits X-rays and gamma rays that can be directed to the area being examined. In fact, the rover’s power supply could also power a high-intensity scanning beam.
According to a press release provided by the company, the beam can travel many kilometers in airless space.
As with many remote sensing devices, this beam will then be partially reflected back to the probe mounted on the vehicle and can be analyzed to study the material from which it was reflected.
But X-rays have an additional function that anyone who has seen medical images will be familiar with is that they can see what is below the surface of an object. Gamma rays can do this too.
A controllable X-ray and gamma ray remote sensing platform that also powers the rover is an exciting innovation.
The project received funding from the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC). The result of this preliminary study could be a project to fly to Shackleton Crater or the Sea of Tranquility on the Moon.
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