NASA wants to install a nuclear reactor on the moon. What is the purpose of the project?
Article by: Andacs Robert Eugen, on 29 June 2022, at 10:55 am Los Angeles time
The nuclear reactor will be installed by 2030 and will operate for about 10 years.
In this way, the Moon will be transformed into an orbital electric generator, which will be able to produce electrical energy through nuclear fission.
NASA recently launched a design competition for the new nuclear reactor, with three winning solutions are chosen. Each selected concept will receive funding of approximately $ 5 million.
The proposed solutions will be tested by astronauts who will return to the moon during the Artemis mission, which would take place by 2025.
The ultimate goal of this project is to transform the Moon into a possible human colony, with its own source of electricity, essential for the establishment of permanent settlements.
According to specialists, the solar energy currently used to power some rovers will not be enough for a human colony, so other, more efficient sources are needed.
The Artemis 1 mission is due to begin in August this year, but a human crew is only scheduled for the Artemis 2 and Artemis 3 missions, the latter aiming to land around 2025.