The United Kingdom is providing funding to Rolls-Royce to construct a nuclear reactor that will be utilized on the Moon, a groundbreaking step towards establishing a permanent presence on the lunar surface.
The facility, which will be located on the Moon’s south pole, will be used to power a lunar base and enable further exploration of the lunar environment. This is part of the U.K. government’s strategy to become a leader in the exploration of space.
Rolls-Royce, the British aerospace and defense firm, is responsible for designing, constructing and testing the nuclear reactor, which is the first of its kind. The reactor will be constructed using the latest and most advanced nuclear technology, with the aim of making it small, lightweight and resilient enough to survive the rigors of space travel and the harsh conditions of the lunar environment.
The project is expected to have a total cost of £18 million, with the U.K. government providing £15 million of the funding. The remaining £3 million will be provided by Rolls-Royce, who will also be responsible for the development of a range of nuclear technologies.
The reactor is the latest development in a long history of the U.K.’s involvement in space exploration. It marks a significant step forward for the country, as it is the first time a nuclear reactor will be used on the Moon.
The reactor is also expected to provide a major boost to the U.K.’s efforts to become a major player in the space industry. The project is expected to create hundreds of jobs in the U.K. and drive further investment in the sector.
In a statement, the U.K. government said they were “delighted” to be investing in the project and wished Rolls-Royce the best of luck in their endeavor.
The construction of the nuclear reactor marks a significant milestone in the U.K.’s ambitions to have a permanent presence on the Moon. The project is expected to be completed by 2022.