Missions to the Moon could soon be powered by nuclear power produced on the Earth’s satellite.
In November, ELN reported that NASA and the US Department of Energy (DOE) work together to bring the development of a lunar nuclear power plant into reality.
The agencies have now announced they have selected three companies to create design concept proposals for a fission surface power system ready to launch by 2030.
Fission is the process current nuclear power plants use.
Scientists have said fission systems are reliable and could enable continuous power regardless of location, available sunlight and other natural environmental conditions.
A demonstration of such systems on the moon is expected to pave the way for long-duration missions on the Moon and Mars.
Jim Reuter, Associate Administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, said: “Developing these early designs will help us lay the groundwork for powering our long-term human presence on other worlds.”