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Rolls Royce’s nuclear power Moon project gets funds from the U.K.

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Image Credit: Science Times British aerospace firm Rolls-Royce Holdings is continuing to work on developing nuclear power sources for spaceflight and exploration as humanity turns its attention back to the Moon. The company revealed that it got funds from the U.K., to power a future lunar base, and to advance its nuclear reactor research and development. The U.K. press release from the Space Agency stated that the organization gave Rolls-Royce Holdings £2.9 million, or roughly $3.5 million USD. The funding, according to Rolls-Royce, will be used to specifically research the fuel that the reactor will use to generate heat, investigate methods of transferring that heat, and assess the technologies required to convert that heat into electricity. On the lunar surface, the reactor might be used to run science experiments, rovers, and communication systems. By 2029, Rolls-Royce wants to have the nuclear reactor ready to launch to the moon. “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 with Rolls-Royce to pioneer new power sources for a lunar base,” George Freeman, minister of state at the Department of Science, Innovation, and Technology, U.K., told in a press release. Rolls Royace Image credit: Yahoo Canada Style Early last month, Rolls-Royce used Twitter to tease the design of a nuclear reactor for spaceflight. Nuclear reactors have been used for many years to power things like submarines, but the technology's use in spaceflight has frequently been disregarded in favor of chemical-based propulsion. The company did at the time mention that the design could be used for bases on the moon, but a functional version of the recently unveiled micro-reactor mockup would be primarily used for spaceflight. Read More: Rolls-Royce’s Journey into Space: The Micro-Nuclear Reactor for Long-Duration Missions With a 2012 contract with the U.K. Department of Energy, Rolls-Royce Holdings has experience designing nuclear reactors. The Ministry of Defense will equip its successor submarine with a nuclear reactor. As a matter of fact, the company has been involved with nuclear-powered submarines since the 1960s. For its continued work in the nuclear reactor sector in 2021, Rolls-Royce Holdings secured $600 million in public and private funding. The company, which is not to be confused with BMW-owned Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, first used this money to start developing "low cost, low carbon nuclear power technology" in 2021," according to a press release from the business. The company states that the power plants would take up the space of two soccer fields and be able to power one million homes, through these Small Modular Reactors that would be located on Earth.

By Omal J

I worked for both print and electronic media as a feature journalist. Writing, traveling, and DIY sum up her life.


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