Setting up a human presence on Mars will come with a huge range of challenges, many of which are linked to one essential requirement: Power. Whether it’s for creating oxygen, driving rovers, providing heat and light, or communications, future Mars residents will need a constant supply of electricity to keep them safe and keep the mission running.

There’s no power grid on Mars though, and current solutions can only take us so far. So what will the first off-planet power plant look like? We got in touch with two people working at the cutting edge of space power systems in two different agencies to find out.

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