The reactor will seek to provide energy to colonies of humans that settle on the Moon.
The Artemis program seeks to put humanity back on the Moon and this, although it sounds historical, provides more questions than answers to the scientific community. One of them is how life will be energized on the satellite and NASA is looking for a solution to this.
Due to this, the North American space agency has announced a union with the Department of Energy to seek partners in the construction of a nuclear reactor on the Moon .
Nuclear energy on the Moon
The organizations want to create a miniature fission reactor to be transported to the Moon . This would be so small that it can be deposited on a lander or exploration rover.
The plan has two phases. The first is to develop a reactor design. The second is to build a test reactor , send a second reactor to the Moon, and develop a flight system and lander that can carry the reactor.
The reactor must be capable of providing 40 kilowatts, which is enough energy to power 30 homes for ten years.
Proposals will be accepted until February 2022, with the intention of developing a winner within 10 years.
The degradation of the Plutonium 238 isotope generates thermal energy, which in turn is converted into electricity. Its importance in places as inhospitable as the Moon or Mars will be important for space colonization.