Mars

Rolls Royce teasers its space generator

The well known British company Rolls Royce started studying nuclear power specifically for space exploration in 2021. It has just recently tweeted a teaser of a its new micro-reactor.

This is a nuclear reactor which means it uses a radioactive element to generate electricity, this one only a few grams of Uranium. To function correctly in Space it needs additional protection from the harsher environment than it would on Earth. It needs to work in places that have no sunlight, no fuel, and no oxygen.

These small, protected, self-contained reactors are ideal for applications in space, such as propulsion of spacecrafts and for powering bases on the Moon or Mars. (Plus this one also happens to look great too, but perhaps not unexpected for a Rolls Royce).

As the Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency said back in 2021:

“Space nuclear power … is a game-changing concept that could unlock future deep-space missions that take us to Mars and beyond.

Dr Graham Turnock, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency 2021,

I don’t know about you but I would certainly like to land on Mars in a Rolls Royce.


References:

  • https://www.rolls-royce.com/innovation/space.aspx
  • https://www.techspot.com/news/97435-rolls-royce-teases-small-nuclear-reactor-space-travel.html
  • https://www.rolls-royce.com/media/press-releases/2021/12-01-2021-rr-uk-space-agency-launches-first-study-into-nuclear-power.aspx

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