Rolls-Royce Secures Funding to Build Nuclear Micro-Reactors on The Moon
In the future, astronauts will require a continuous energy supply to work on the moon and in space, as all of the missions will depend on a power source for communications, life support, and science experiments.
Therefore, reliable and robust energy technologies are required to store and distribute a continuous energy supply. Now, should we build a solar or wind farm on the moon?
No, we can’t go with this option because there is no wind, combustible fuels, or water (as far as we know) on the moon and two weeks of darkness at a time.
A British aerospace company, Rolls-Royce, comes up with a solution to this problem by building nuclear micro-reactors on the moon by 2029.
Even the UK Space Agency (UKSA) agreed and announced a £2.9 million fund for the operation of the project last week after providing a fund of £249,000 last year for research and studies.
These nuclear reactors are modular and compact, providing less energy as compared to typical reactors but at a lower cost. It will also dramatically boost the duration and scientific value of future lunar missions.
The project is an extension of Rolls-Royce’s £500 million small modular reactor (SMR) project, funded by the government with $210 million last year, aiming to develop and scale up the technology throughout the UK and beyond.
It will complete its first Earth-based facility at the start of 2030 and build ten more by 2035. Each reactor is anticipated to produce over 400 megawatts of electricity once operational, sufficient to power at least 400,000 homes.