Miniature nuclear reactor-an innovative development of Rolls-Royce
The British from Rolls-Royce are planning to create a miniature nuclear reactor that could power mining equipment on the Moon and even on Mars. The British giant has been developing rocket engines for space for a long time.
Rolls-Royce has long been testing solutions that allow launching rockets moving at high speed. This technology can be used not only to transport astronauts beyond the Earth, but also for machines supporting lunar and Martian mining.
Dave Gordon from Rolls-Royce said that his company could use its experience in developing nuclear submarines for the British Navy for 60 years. The engines of submarines and spacecraft have more in common than you think. Both are designed to work in ” an environment with a lack of oxygen, must be durable and reliable.”
There is a huge shortage of rare earth metals on Earth, which can instead be found on other planets and on the Moon. The idea of mining on the Moon and Mars should come to life during our lifetime.
The engines of the drilling rigs must be powered by nuclear energy, because solar energy is not suitable for such distances. Rolls-Royce is at the forefront of developing the right technologies, but it is not the only company that is trying to do this.
Companies such as Lunar Outpost, Honeybee Robotics and Masten Space Systems are developing a new system designed to extract water ice from the Moon using rockets. This should happen before 2023.