Ground Report | New Delhi: NASA and the US Atomic Energy Agency have asked for suggestions and proposals for the installation of a nuclear power plant on the surface of the moon. The space agency NASA is planning to install a nuclear power plant on the moon in partnership with the US Department of Energy’s National Laboratories in Idaho. The plan is to pave the way for lunar missions by the end of this decade.
Sebastian Corbesiro, head of the Fashion Surface Power Project, said in a statement that the project aims to build a reliable high power system on the moon, which is essential for human space missions.
It is said that if the plan to install a nuclear reactor on the surface of the moon is successful, a similar plan will be drawn up for Mars. The main purpose of this project is to enable man to stay there for a long time after landing on the surface of the moon. NASA believes that regardless of environmental conditions, there should be power plants on the moon or Mars so that humans can stay on these planets for a long time.
According to Jim Reuter, associate administrator at NASA’s Space Technology Directorate, the installation of the nuclear power plant system will play a key role in the success of future human projects related to the moon and Mars.
It has been reported that this nuclear power plant will be sent to the moon in a ready state after it is built on the ground. The nuclear reactor will rely on uranium fuel, while the thermal management system will help keep the reactor cool. The nuclear power plant will generate 40 kilowatts of electricity on the surface of the moon for the next ten years.
Proposals such as controlling the lunar orbit in the system and automatically shutting it down and moving are also requested in the system. In addition, NASA has proposed features such as the separation of the power plant from the spacecraft landing on the moon and the ability to operate like a mobile system and move easily to different places on the moon.
The NASA proposal also states that the power plant can fit inside a four-meter cylinder and should not exceed six meters in length while weighing no more than 6,000 kilograms. These designs and proposals could be sent to NASA by February 19 next year.
The Idaho National Laboratory has been part of several NASA projects in the past. Scientists at the laboratory recently helped install a radioisotope atomic system on NASA’s Mars rover Proservis. The car-sized rover landed on Mars in February this year and has been operating there ever since.