Anyone willing to travel to remote places for the sake of science has to accept some health problems, be it frostbite in Antarctica or bone loss in space. To make matters worse, these people also have to accept self-diagnosing and self-treating these health problems, not to mention others that may arise in the course of their missions.
When lunar astronauts flick on their televisions after a long day of prospecting, they’ll have a trashcan-size nuclear reactor to thank for their nightly dose of prime time. NASA, looking past the already daunting task of simply getting humans to the moon by 2020, recently started considering proposals for ways to power lunar habitats. Batteries and fuel cells provide only short-term solutions. Solar power would be limited where a single night lasts as long as 354 hours. So space-agency officials have started making plans to go nuclear.