(CNN) – China has started the design of a nuclear reactor on the Moon, NASA is also designing a nuclear power plant on the Moon, the race is on.
Since 2019, China has started the design of a nuclear reactor on the Moon with funds from the central government.
China’s lunar nuclear reactor is described as capable of generating 1 megawatt of electricity, 100 times more powerful than a similar device that NASA plans to send to the Moon. by 2030, according to SCMP daily.
Meanwhile, according to Live Science, NASA and the US Department of Energy required the design of a nuclear power plant on the Moon to generate only 40 kilowatts of capacity.
Jim Reuter, deputy director of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Steering Committee, said: “The reactor will be built on Earth and then put on the Moon. The plan for a surface fusion power system includes a uranium fuel reactor core, a system to convert nuclear energy into usable electricity, a heat management system to cool the reactor, and a distribution system. provide at least 40 kilowatts of electricity continuously for 10 years in the lunar environment, information from the news website Phys.org says.
Reportedly in the final days of his term, former US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to accelerate the application of nuclear energy to space programs for military and civilian purposes.
By using nuclear power, both NASA and China realized that a large amount of energy is required to operate in space.
Systems that keep astronauts alive and keep their experiments running require a steady supply of electricity. Not to mention the series of commercial projects of spacecraft. Nuclear energy is the key to opening up space, serving a variety of human activities, scientific discovery and commercial development.
The Hill reported that NASA is also working on nuclear power for spacecraft, especially those with a journey to Mars and beyond.
NASA also reviewed the nuclear rocket design of the Nuclear Engines for Rocket Vehicle Applications (NERVA) program in the 1960s.
NERVA ended when it was announced that NASA would not send humans to Mars any time soon. Now that Mars is back on the American agenda, the nuclear rockets serving spacecraft are back, too.