One Step Forward, UK Demonstrates Initial Space Nuclear Reactor Design


The UK Space Agency, in collaboration with Rolls-Royce, has introduced an early-stage space nuclear reactor design. Photo/Rolls-Royce

LONDON – Space Agency English in collaboration with Rolls-Royce to introduce an early-stage design nuclear reactor outer space. Even Rolls-Royce also demonstrated a propulsion system for space flight.

Rolls-Royce released initial designs of its micro-nuclear reactor on Friday 27 January 2023, after agreeing to a 2021 agreement with the UK Space Agency to build the future of nuclear power in deep space exploration. This success means that Rolls-Royce can be part of the ambitious future of space flight.

This early-stage design uses a nuclear fission system, which harnesses the energy released in the splitting of atoms. This process could be used to power astronaut bases on the moon or Mars.

Also read; Here’s How Nuclear Powered Spaceships Work, Designed to Explore the Moon and Mars

“Each uranium particle is encapsulated in several protective layers which act as a containment system, allowing it to withstand extreme conditions,” Rolls-Royce tweeted in a brief description of the system.

Nuclear fission systems can also help shorten travel time to Mars. With the current propulsion system, the spacecraft will take six to nine months to reach Mars.

Nuclear systems have long flown in robotic space missions. For example, the use of radioisotope thermoelectric generators (radioisotope thermoelectric generators/RTGs) to provide electricity for various space probes, including NASA’s Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft.

Also read; 2027 The US Military Claims It Has a Nuclear Powered Spaceship

NASA’s large Mars rovers such as Perseverance and Curiosity also use RTGs. Although smaller explorers like Spirit and Opportunity use solar panels.

However, RTG is not a fission reactor. Rather, they are nuclear batteries, which convert heat released by the decay of radioactive materials into electricity. In contrast to nuclear fission, like the process in the sun and other stars, which flows the fusion of atoms.

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Generally speaking, some concerns have also been raised about the use of space fission or fusion forces including safety for astronauts. Including portability, as greater mass means more expensive missions and longevity in tough, harsh environments.

Also read; Rolls-Royce Completes Manufacturing of the World’s Largest Aircraft Engine, Here’s How Great It Is


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