Rolls-Royce (A British motor car company) is collaborating with the UK space agency for nuclear power and propulsion options in spaceflight. Rolls-Royce has also announced a new image that shows a new possible version of a space nuclear reactor.
How is the new reactor system going to help in Mars Missions?
Nuclear fission systems, vital for harnessing atom-splitting energy, show promise for powering astronaut bases on the moon or Mars. With current propulsion systems taking six to nine months for travel to Mars, integrating space nuclear reactors could substantially cut down travel times.
What will be the role of Rolls-Royce?
Rolls-Royce will be taking part in that ambitious spaceflight future. On (January 27) Friday, the reputed company announced an early-stage design of a space nuclear reactor. To investigate upcoming nuclear power options in space exploration Rolls-Royce will also be working with the United Kingdom Space Agency.
Moreover, Rolls-Royce made a brief description of the system in a tweet: “Each uranium particle is encapsulated in multiple protective layers that act as a containment system, allowing it to withstand extreme conditions,”
Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs)!
Space missions now utilize compact and efficient space nuclear reactors. NASA’s Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, exploring interstellar space, rely on radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). These reactors ensure a reliable power source for probes, enhancing the efficiency of space exploration.
RTGs are nuclear batteries that convert to electricity the heat thrown off by the decay of radioactive material. Space nuclear reactor has not powered a spacecraft to fly off from Earth yet. However, this could change soon. NASA and DARPA have recently made an announcement to build a nuclear thermal rocket by 2027.
Space fission or fusion power is going to change the spaceflight portfolio!
The power source of the sun and other stars are known as Nuclear fusion flows from the merging of atoms. One day, this could also be part of humanity’s spaceflight portfolio. This is going to take a very long time. However; we have to control this power source here on Earth. But recently U.S. scientists made a big achievement: a Space nuclear reactor experiment that produced more energy than it consumed.
However, there are some questions regarding space fission or fusion power as the safety of astronauts; convenience. More mass means a more expensive mission and longevity in a harsh and rugged environment.
Nuclear power is getting the center of attention in Movies:
Nuclear power is gaining attention both in reality and science fiction. These advanced robotics have even been a point for making a joke in the 2015 movie “The Martian.”. Starting with Matt Damon who is playing the role of an astronaut. Named “Mark Watney” in the movie he is in search of warmth in an unheated rover. desperately searching up a space nuclear reactor hidden in regolith for safety reasons said his Mars training manual had a section about surface operations labeled “Don’t Dig Up The Big Box of Plutonium, Mark.“