How is a spacecraft powered ?
How a spacecraft is powered :
If a space craft is in orbit, how does it get energized ? There is no gasoline , oil or coal in space to burn and make energy . So, how is a spacecraft powered?
In space, there is Sun which is the biggest source of energy. In space , solar energy is much more efficient because there is not any kind of atmosphere in space to block the sunlight . So, a spacecraft can use solar panels to generate electricity to run computers , sensors , cameras etc. . It can collect sunlight anytime as it is not blocked by any shadow of planet . The time when it can not use sun light, it has to use the energy of batteries that have been stored when the sun was in view . The spacecrafts which do not use solar panels , use batteries that were charged before they left earth.
How a spacecraft is powered when it is very distant from the sun?
Spacecraft powered by Plutonium Credit: theverge
Way beyond Mars, far out in space , the sun does not provide enough power . So, the spacecraft needs to find another way to generate electricity . One way is to use a RTG ( Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator ) device . In this device heat form the radioactive decay of plutonium ( a heavy elements that decay into lighter elements ) causes different electrical charges on different types of metals . When different metals with different electrical charges come in contact , a electrical current flows between the metals. This electricity can be used to power spacecraft systems .
Solar panels are much more efficient than RTG devices.
SO, This was it . We have tried to explain it you as easily as possible . Till then,
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