Humans have not set foot on the moon since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. When they return to our space neighbor by about 2025, the landscape of the study will be very different due to extensive technological advances.
In an effort to further accelerate the technology that will power future lunar missions, NASA, together Ministry of Energy (DOE), has gone out press release calls on companies to help it develop nuclear energy solutions.
NASA is asking private companies to help with nuclear lunar energy
In particular, the US space agency says it is “asking US companies for design concepts for a surface fission energy system that can be ready to launch in a decade to demonstrate the moon. “
NASA states that the system must be able to operate autonomously from the deck of a lunar lander or rover. It says it wants to test lunar fission reactors because they are reliable and can operate at any time, including moonlit nights that last for weeks. The system, which wants to bring to the moon, will provide approximately 40 kilowatts of power, which he says will be enough to power 30 households for a decade. Finally, NASA also says that the system is quite light and that one day it can be used to provide energy for future missions to Mars.
“NASA and DOE are collaborating on this important and challenging development, which, once completed, will be an incredible step toward long-term human exploration of the moon and Mars,” said NASA’s Todd Tofil. Glenn Research Center is explained in the message of the agency. “We will take advantage of the unique capabilities of government and private industry to provide a reliable, uninterrupted power supply that is independent of the lunar location.
Lunar nuclear energy technology can also power the Earth
The fission system that NASA will eventually send to the moon is likely to be another example of space technology that could be of great use here on Earth. In fact, a former SpaceX engineer founded a a launch called Radiant to develop portable nuclear reactors for remote places on Earth, based on technologies originally developed for Mars.
The US space agency has also indicated that work on the lunar fission nuclear reactor will also help advance work on nuclear-powered missiles, such as a rocket developed by a launch called Ad Astra, which in theory can reach speeds of up to 123,000 mph (~ 198,000 km / h) and travel to Mars in just one month.
Before that, astronauts will return to the moon in 2025. Earlier this month, NASA confirmed that its Artemis program landed on the moon are postponed since their initial launch date in 2024, in part due to a protracted legal dispute with Blue Origin over the award of a lunar landing contract to SpaceX. Once humans return to the moon, they will not only have to use innovative methods to generate energy, but will also have to extract resources below the lunar surface to help them maintain a constant presence.