NASA chooses three companies to develop nuclear power systems on the Moon

A fission system could power long-term missions to the Moon and Mars and enable colonization on those stars. 


The energy on the Moon for a future colonization is scarce, so it is necessary to start thinking about how to have sources to extend the stay on the satellite.

Given this, NASA and the US Department of Energy have awarded contracts to three companies that are designing concepts to bring nuclear power to the Moon .

moon nuclear power

The companies that have been awarded the contracts are Lockheed Martin , Westinghouse and IX . Each takes 5 million dollars.

The three companies are tasked with developing a 40-kilowatt-class fission power system that can run for at least 10 years on the lunar surface.

NASA hopes to test the system on the Moon later this decade. If the demonstration is successful, it could lead to nuclear energy powering long-term missions to the satellite and Mars as part of the Artemis program .

Under the 12-month contracts, Lockheed Martin will partner with BWXT and Creare. Westinghouse will partner with Aerojet Rocketdyne, while IX (a joint venture of Intuitive Machines and X-Energy) will work with Maxar and Boeing on a proposal.

The first already has some experience in the sector. Lockheed Martin was one of three companies chosen by the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency last year to develop nuclear-powered spacecraft.

Under the new agreements of Artemisa , the countries that subscribe will be able to use the exploration of the stars for peaceful purposes and register space objects.