Rolls-Royce unveils ‘nuclear’ plan for the moon – and it could be up and running sooner than you think

Rolls-Royce wants to build a nuclear reactor that will power a moon base in six years.

The Derby company plans to fly it out in sections for astronauts to build – just like a giant IKEA package.

NASA plans to build a permanent base on the moon

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NASA plans to build a permanent base on the moonCredit: Alamy

The project received a £2.9million grant from the UK Space Agency to produce a demonstration model.

It already makes reactors for submarines and is developing a factory-made power plant for small towns.

The lunar unit would provide power for humans, allow them to phone home, and would also power experiments.

It would also refuel vehicles to drive across the lunar surface.

George Freeman, Secretary of State for Science, said: “Space exploration is the ultimate laboratory for so many of the transformative technologies we need on Earth.

“As we prepare to see humans return to the moon for the first time in more than 50 years, we are supporting exciting research like this modular lunar reactor.

“Partnerships like this between UK industry, the UK Space Agency and Government help create jobs in our £16 billion space technology sector and help ensure the UK continues to be a major force in frontier science.”

Abi Clayton, director of future programs at Rolls-Royce, said: “This funding will take us further forward in the realization of the microreactor, the technology bringing immense benefits to space and Earth.

“The technology will provide the ability to support commercial and defense cases while providing a solution to decarbonize industry and provide clean, safe and reliable energy.”

It’s all part of grand plans to establish a permanent base for humans on the moon.

NASA hopes to set foot on the moon again in 2025, more than 50 years after the last mission.

The space agency showed off the space suits that men and women will wear for the first time on their return this week.

Project has passed funding for Mega Moon mission

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Project has passed funding for Mega Moon missionPhoto credit: ROLLS-ROYCE

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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/10400497/rolls-royce-space-moon-nuclear-reactor-power/ Rolls-Royce unveils ‘nuclear’ plan for the moon – and it could be up and running sooner than you think

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