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Title:Government signs £2.9m Moon base nuclear power deal
Date:3/17/2023 2:27:40 AM

Rolls-Royce scientists and engineers are to research how nuclear power could be used to support a future Moon base.

The UK Space Agency has given the Derby-based firm £2.9m to look at ways of powering future lunar settlements.

The company has been asked to demonstrate how nuclear micro reactors could extend the duration of future missions to the Moon.

The government said the deal would boost the UK's space industry and create skilled jobs.

The UK Space Agency said it wanted to establish a new power source to support systems for communications, life-support and scientific experiments on the Moon.

The agency's chief executive Dr Paul Bate said: "We are backing technology and capabilities to support ambitious space exploration missions and boost sector growth across the UK.

"Developing space nuclear power offers a unique chance to support innovative technologies and grow our nuclear, science and space engineering skills base.

"This innovative research by Rolls-Royce could lay the groundwork for powering continuous human presence on the Moon, while enhancing the wider UK space sector, creating jobs and generating further investment."

Rolls-Royce said it wanted to have a reactor ready to send to the Moon by 2029.

The company will work with the University of Oxford, University of Bangor, University of Brighton, University of Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and Nuclear AMRC on the project.

The Minister of State at the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology, George Freeman, said: "Space exploration is the ultimate laboratory for so many of the transformational technologies we need on Earth, from materials to robotics, nutrition, cleantech and much more.

"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...

Date Added:3/17/2023 6:39:31 AM