It is not enough just to send a person to Mars and the Moon – you need to create all the conditions for a comfortable life there. One of the main concerns of NASA engineers is providing colonists with electricity. In preparation for future flights, the space agency announced the creation of nuclear reactors that can generate enough energy to keep the colonies operational.
NASA’s plan assumes a two-stage project. The design of the reactor will be developed first. After that, the construction of a test sample for sending to the moon will begin. Additionally, it is necessary to create a special module that will not only deliver the reactor to the moon but also carry out its descent and deployment.
Now NASA is ready to accept proposals from private companies on how to use nuclear energy outside the Earth. Ideas will be evaluated by the Idaho National Nuclear Energy Research Laboratory. After that, the space agency will assess the feasibility of the project. The company is confident that even small nuclear reactors can provide the power needed for space exploration missions.
According to NASA’s plans, the project should be ready for launch in 2026. The rated power of the reactor will be 10 kilowatts with a weight of 2,721 kilograms. Presumably, he will be able to work completely offline for ten years. Since its capacity may not be enough, it is planned to create a network of reactors to meet the needs of the colonists.