NASA wants to put nuclear reactor on the moon, hopes to support lunar life

NASA is one step closer to finishing its plans for nuclear power 238,900 miles from Earth.

The US Department of Energy and the Space Agency have chosen three designs for a surface fission power system that would be put on the moon.

The hope is that a nuclear reactor will make enough power to run rovers, do experiments, and help keep life going.

Scientists say that the ideas for the technology will help with future Artemis exploration and will be ready to go by the end of the decade.

NASA says that each contract is worth about $5 million and pays for the development of initial design concepts for a 40-kilowatt class fission power system

that is meant to last at least 10 years in the lunar environment. Forty kilowatts of electricity can power 30 homes for ten years straight.

The Idaho National Laboratory of the Department of Energy will give each of the following companies a 12-month contract to come up with a preliminary design:

Lockheed Martin, which is based in Bethesda, Maryland, will work with BWXT and Creare.

Westinghouse, which is based in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, will work with Aerojet Rocketdyne.

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