America wants to set up a nuclear power plant on the Moon. According to NASA and the Department of Energy, they will soon seek proposals from industry players for the ambitious project. The US wants to achieve this feat by 2027. It believes that setting up a nuclear plant will support future exploration programs. It will support the space agency’s goal of sustained lunar presence and plan human exploration of deep space and Mars. Notably, the plan to build a nuclear plant on Moon was also featured in a memorandum signed earlier by Donald Trump. The plan is to build a 10-kilowatt class fission power system.
The said facility will be assembled on Earth only. It will be tested on the Earth’s surface to make sure that it functions correctly on the lunar surface. It will be then integrated with a lunar lander. A launch vehicle will carry the system to the Moon. Once it touches down the lunar surface, the system will begin operations with no additional work required. The system will play a key role in determining the success of human exploration of Mars and deep space in the future. NASA said that it is working with the Idaho National Laboratory to execute the plan. INL is a nuclear research facility. The aim is to deliver the project in the next six years.
Moon is very rich in helium-3. He3 is gas. It could be used as a fuel in nuclear fusion power plants in the future. He3 is present on the Earth in little quantity. But it is available in ample quantity on the Moon. It has the potential to be used as a fuel to produce energy on the Moon. The US is exploring the material to use as a fuel for nuclear fusion to produce energy. Meanwhile, NASA is planning multiple short-term contracts with industry experts to develop a preliminary design. Moon is the only natural satellite Earth has. It is the nearest celestial object to the planet. It remains the only object in space where humans have traveled so far.