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50 Years Ago

Science Past from the issue of June 3, 1961

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ATOMIC ENERGY SEEN BEST FOR ROCKET POWER — Atomic energy is the most feasible source for powering rockets into the far reaches of outer space. A refined model of a nuclear power system now being developed could be used to propel space probes to Mars and Venus, [said] Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission.... Already it is feasible to put an “atomic generator” in a satellite whirling around the earth to supply electric power. This generator, weighing four pounds, could produce electricity, equivalent to thousands of pounds of batteries, over a five-year period.... Atomic energy can also be used in a world-wide network of television satellites or weather stations.

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