NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are collaborating to make nuclear power a reality on the Moon. The agencies have shortlisted three design concepts for a nuclear fission system that can be deployed on the lunar surface, the space agency said on its website.
NASA has ambitious plans of returning humans to the Moon through its Artemis program, which recently completed its wet-dress rehearsal. Under this program, NASA aims to send a human mission to the south pole of the Moon by 2025. However, unlike previous lunar missions, the aim of the Artemis program is not just to visit the Moon but to stay there.
For humans to stay on the Moon, one of the major hurdles to cross is how a proposed settlement will be powered. Solar panels are great for powering rovers, but the human settlement will require a continuous as well as reliable source of power. Scientists have turned to nuclear fission as the technology has been used extensively on Earth and is also relatively small and lightweight to be sent to the Moon.
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