Posted: Nov 20, 2021 07:28 GMT
The conditions established for those who want to postulate indicate that the reactor would first be built on Earth and later sent to the natural satellite.
NASA, in collaboration with the Idaho National Laboratory of the US Department of Energy, intends to install a nuclear power plant on the Moon and look for ideas to do it.
In this framework, the agency together with the country’s main federal nuclear research laboratory presented on Friday a request for proposals for a fission surface energy system, which would be used to sustain permanent human life on the Moon for future missions and establish a source of energy independent of the Sun.
“Providing a reliable, high-powered system on the Moon is a vital step in human space exploration, and achieving it is within our reach“said Sebastian Corbisiero, leader of the Fission Surface Energy Project.
The scientists pointed out that in the event that the goal is achieved on the Moon, the next destination would be Mars. According to NASA, the energy from the fission surface would be able to provide abundant and sustained energy to both destinations regardless of environmental conditions.
The established conditions, for those who want to contribute their ideas to the project, indicate that the reactor would first be built on Earth and later sent to the Moon.
It also requires the development of a uranium-fueled reactor core, a system to convert nuclear energy into usable energy, a thermal management system to keep the reactor cool, and a distribution system that provides no less than 40 kilowatts of energy. power supply enough for 10 years in the lunar environment.
On the other hand, scientists need the system to be able to turn on and off without human help, is operated from a lunar lander, and is capable of running on a mobile system to be transported during operations.
As if it seems little, there are still a few parameters to follow: when the reactor is launched from Earth, it must fit inside a cylinder 4 meters in diameter and 6 meters long and not weigh more than 6,000 kilograms.
Prospective participants should submit their RFPs for an initial design before February 19, collect local media.
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