Space Nuclear Mission History

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A History of Mission Successes

For more than 50 years, the Department of Energy has enabled space exploration on 27 missions by providing safe reliable radioisotope power systems and radioisotope heater units for NASA, Navy, Air Force, DOE.

 

Mission

Year Launched

Agency

Regions Explored

Transit 4a

1961

Navy

Earth- Navy Navigation Satellite

Transit 4B

1961

Navy

Earth - Navigation Satellite

Transit 5-BN-1

1963

Navy

Earth - Navigation Satellite

Transit 5-BN-2

1963

Navy

Earth - Navigation Satellite

SNAP-10

1965

DOE

Earth - Technology Demonstration

Nimbus III

1969

NASA

Earth - Weather Satellite

Apollo 11

1969

NASA

Moon Surface

Apollo 12

1969

NASA

Moon Surface

Apollo 14

1971

NASA

Moon Surface

Apollo 15

1971

NASA

Moon Surface

Pioneer 10

1971

NASA

Jupiter

Apollo 16

1972

NASA

Moon Surface

Triad-01-1X

1972

Navy

Earth – Navigation Satellite

Apollo 17

1972

NASA

Moon Surface

Pioneer 11

1973

NASA

Jupiter, Saturn

Viking 1

1975

NASA

Mars Surface

Viking 2

1975

NASA

Mars Surface

Lincoln Experimental Satellite 8

1976

Air Force

Earth – Communications Satellite

Lincoln Experimental Satellite 9

1976

Air Force

Earth – Communications Satellite

Voyager 2

1977

NASA

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune. Interstellar Space

Voyager 1

1977

NASA

Jupiter, Saturn, Interstellar Space

Galileo

1989

NASA

Venus, Asteroid Belt, Jupiter

Ulysses

1990

NASA

Jupiter, Sun, Comets

Pathfinder-Sojourner

1996

NASA

Mars Surface

Cassini-Huygens

1997

NASA

Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Titan

MER A - Spirit

2003

NASA

Earth Surface

MER B - Opportunity

2003

NASA

Earth Surface

Pluto New Horizons

2006

NASA

Jupiter, Pluto, Kuiper Belt

Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity

2011

NASA

Mars Surface