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NASA intends to build a nuclear power plant on the moon by 2030

Last Updated on 08th January 2024

According to a statement released on Nov. 19 by the Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory (INL), the lab is collaborating with NASA to establish a "durable, high-power, sun-independent" fission reactor on the moon within the next 10 years.


The two organizations are presently seeking ideas from outside partners to help them get this ambitious initiative off the ground, with a deadline of February 19, 2022.


According to agency experts, this hypothetical reactor would aid in transforming the moon into an interplanetary base for human space exploration, including future manned journeys to Mars.


In a statement, Jim Reuter, assistant administrator for NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C., stated, "Plenty of energy will be key to future space exploration." "I expect fission surface power systems to have a significant impact on our plans for power architectures for the moon and Mars, as well as driving innovation for applications on Earth."


Some fundamental parameters are included in the request for bids. The suggested reactor must be a uranium-fueled fission reactor, which means it must be capable of splitting heavy atomic nuclei into lighter nuclei while also releasing energy as a byproduct.


The reactor must weigh no more than 13,200 pounds (6,000 kilogrammes) and be small enough to fit into the rocket's specifications (12-foot-long by 18-foot-wide).


The reactor will be built on Earth and then launched to the moon, where it will be required to generate 40 kilowatts of continuous electric power for a period of ten years. To keep the device cool, the reactor must include temperature controls.


The solicitation comes as NASA ramps up its Artemis mission, which intends to establish a long-term human presence on the moon by the end of the decade.


The cost of the initiative, which aims to send people back to the moon for the first time since 1972, is anticipated to be over USD 93 billion.


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