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Part of the problem of venturing further out into space is the reduction in power from the Sun through solar power. NASA is looking at alleviating this by building nuclear reactors to supply needed power.

NASA envisions needing a system capable of providing about 40 kilowatts of electricity 45 about what's used to power eight average homes in the United States.

"As you get further and further out, the missions get longer and longer, and you're going to have to have higher and higher power levels," said John Warren, who oversees the program at NASA headquarters in Washington D.C. "You're probably going to have to have nuclear, and I think that will be recognized not only here in the U.S., but around the world."

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