Could Humans Live On The Moon In This Decade?
The Energy Department is seeking private bids to build nuclear power plants that would allow us to live in the harsh conditions of Mars and the Moon with a target date for the end of 2026.
A formal request for ideas went out this year for what officials call a fission surface power system. Energy officials and scientists from NASA and the Idaho National Laboratory will
review the ideas and settle on a company to work with.
The government is breaking the project into two phases: developing a reactor design and then building two prototypes — one for testing and one to ship to the moon. The building phase also calls for designing a flight system and lander to transport the reactor.
Right now, the government simply wants a nuclear reactor to power exploration in the south polar region of the moon. The agency didn’t identify a region of Mars.
This year three countries launched missions to Mars — the United Arab Emirates sent an orbiter, China sent an orbiter as well as a lander and a rover, and the US sent a rover.
Some scientist are worried that the specifications and shortened development period could mean reactors that use highly enriched uranium (used for nuclear weapons).
“This may drive or start an international space race to build and deploy new types of reactors requiring highly enriched uranium,” he told AP.
This year three countries launched missions to Mars — the United Arab Emirates sent an orbiter, China sent an orbiter as well as a lander and a rover, and the US sent a rover to Mars.