China's moon rover to use domestic nuclear battery

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A Chinese nuclear battery will power the country's first moon rover after it lands on the lunar surface next year, Shanghai Daily reported.

China's moon rover is seen in a Zhuhai aviation and aerospace exhibition. [File photo]

The rover is expected to reach the moon on board Chang'e-3, China's third lunar probe, to carry out exploration activities.

Using plutonium-238, the battery will be able to power the 100-kilogram vehicle for more than 30 years, said Ouyang Ziyuan, chief scientist of China's lunar exploration program.

"The nuclear power system will make China the third country apart from the United States and Russia to be able to apply nuclear technology to space exploration," Ouyang said.

The moon rover is China's most advanced robot with complete automatic navigation and operations. It will be powered by the sun during daytime and by nuclear power during the night.

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