NASA wants to place a nuclear fission reactor on the Moon in the next few years

NASA wants to first establish a base on the Moon before going to Mars.

Photo: LAURENT EMMANUEL / Getty Images

NASA’s plans to build a lunar base and later on Mars are still ongoing, but one of the drawbacks of this task was how the human settlement outside the Earth was going to be supplied with energy. but apparently they found a solution: nuclear energy through fission.

In order to successfully build a settlement on the Moon with a strong human presence, it will be necessary to have a reliable, safe and efficient energy source on the Earth’s satellite, that is why NASA‘s Artemis mission contemplates the installation of a lunar nuclear plant that would come into operation in the next decade.

The US space agency estimates that this fission energy would power the base along with solar panels, power cells and other fuels to make a human stay on the Moon viable. which will serve as the first base for further exploration of Mars and beyond for years to come.

“Abundant energy will be key to future space exploration,” Jim Reuter, associate administrator of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD), said in a statement.

NASA relies on nuclear power because they indicate that generators can continue to operate even if they are deep in a crater for weeks, opposite case of solar panels. In addition, they argue that such energy is reliable and clean.

According to experts, the initial objective is to transport a light reactor that generates 40 kilowatts of electrical energy continuously. That energy could power 30 homes for 10 years uninterrupted. What’s more, They need it to be relatively simple to install and that it can be moved to another place in the future, such as Mars.

Currently, NASA is choosing between several companies that could carry out the construction of the reactor. Each one must present an initial design and then the best ones will be selected to make a single reactor that It will then be sent to the Moon on a test mission of the final version for the next few years..

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