A New study concludes
Solar power would be the superior option over nuclear for crewed Martian missions near the planet's equator
Researchers found that a
six-person Red Planet mission could be sufficiently powered by photovoltaic systems, adding on to decades of research on the benefits of solar power
As long as the crewed mission is
located near the sun-rich Martian equator, the metrics of solar intensity and surface temperature would have the superior tradeoff to a nuclear fission system
The model assumes that solar energy
could be stored on site using a compressed hydrogen energy system (as hydrogen would likely be feasible to mine on the Martian surface, if needed).
The solar arrays would use electricity
The solar arrays would use electricity to split water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen, with the hydrogen being put into pressurized vessels for storage. The hydrogen would be electrified within fuel cells to produce power.
The researchers acknowledged
that other technologies, such as water electrolysis to create hydrogen and hydrogen fuel cells, may also be used on Mars.