NASA and the U.S. The Department of Energy (DOE) is operating together to improve space nuclear technologies. The agencies have selected three design concept plans for a fission surface power system design that could be prepared to launch by the end of the decade for an exhibition on the moon. This technology would support future exploration under the Artemis umbrella.
Moderately small and lightweight to other power systems, fission systems are dependable and could enable unlimited power regardless of location, accessible sunlight, and other natural environmental conditions. Demonstrating such techniques on the moon would pave the way for long-duration missions on the moon and Mars.
“New technology drives our exploration of the moon, Mars, and beyond,” said Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. “Developing these early designs will help us lay the groundwork for powering our long-term human presence on other worlds.”
“The Fission Surface Power project is a very achievable first step toward the United States establishing nuclear power on the moon,” said Idaho National Laboratory Director John Wagner. “I look forward to seeing what each of these teams will accomplish.”
The Phase 1 grants will provide NASA with critical industry data that can lead to a joint improvement of a complete flight-certified fission power network.