The Moon is often viewed as the gateway to Mars, and holds a large reserve of valuable resources essential to modern technology. But humans have not been on the moon since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.
That’s why the NASA-led Artemis program wants to build a lunar outpost by around 2030. However, building a base on the Moon would require a reliable power source as certain areas of the Moon experience bone-chilling temperatures of up to -248. Celsius. Recently, scientists at Bangor University in the United Kingdom developed nuclear fuel cells, the size of poppy seeds, to generate the energy needed to sustain life there. BBC mentioned.
The Bangor team has worked in partnership with companies such as Rolls-Royce, the UK Space Agency, NASA and Los Alamos National Laboratory in the US.
Researchers at the university sent their small nuclear fuel cell, known as Trisofuel, to their partners for testing. Trisofuel can be used to power a small nuclear generator, created by Rolls Royce. It will undergo rigorous tests simulating the pressures of space travel, in preparation for deployment to a lunar base by 2030.
It is worth noting that a generator is a portable device about the size of a small car or something that people can keep in their pockets.
Professor Simon Middleberg is Professor of Nuclear Materials and Co-Director of the Nuclear Futures Institute at Bangor University He said in a statement“This project will harness the nuclear fuel expertise we have at the Nuclear Futures Institute and apply it to one of the most exciting possible applications: space exploration.
“On the Moon and on planets that have day and night, we can no longer rely on the Sun for energy, and so we must design systems like the micro reactor to sustain life.
“Nuclear power is the only way we currently have to provide the energy needed for this length of space travel. The fuel would have to be very powerful to withstand the forces of launch and then be reliable for many years.”
Recently, India made a historic landing near the lunar south pole on its Chandrayaan-3 mission. The Vikram lander made a soft landing on the lunar surface at 6.04 pm EDT on August 23. The moon mission made India the fourth country to achieve a soft landing on the moon after the United States, China and the former Soviet Union.
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