Iconic car company reveals ‘nuclear’ plan for the Moon – and it could be up and running sooner than you think
Rolls-Royce is aiming to build a nuclear reactor to power a Moon base in six years.
The Derby firm plans to fly it out in sections so astronauts can build it – just like a giant IKEA pack.
The project was handed a £2.9million boost from the UK Space Agency to make a demonstration model.
It already makes reactors for submarines and is developing a factory-built power station for small towns.
The lunar unit would provide energy for humans, enable them to call home and would also power experiments.
It would also fuel vehicles to drive over the lunar surface.
George Freeman, minister of state for science, said: “Space exploration is the ultimate laboratory for so many of the transformational 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 backing exciting research like this lunar modular reactor.
“Partnerships like this, between British industry, the UK Space Agency and government are helping to create jobs across our £16 billion space tech sector and help ensure the UK continues to be a major force in frontier science.”
Abi Clayton, director of future programmes for Rolls-Royce said: “This funding will bring us further down the road in making the micro-reactor a reality, with the technology bringing immense benefits for both space and Earth.
“The technology will deliver the capability to support commercial and defence cases along providing a solution to decarbonise industry and provide clean, safe and reliable energy.”
It’s all part of huge plans to set up a permanent base for humans on the Moon.
Nasa is hoping to put feet back on the Moon in 2025 more than 50 years after the last mission.
The space agency showed off the spacesuits men and women will wear on their return for the first time this week.
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