Rolls-Royce secures funding to build nuclear reactor for moon base


With several countries pushing new missions to the Moon and astronauts training to live and work on the lunar surface, UK-based Rolls-Royce is set to develop a nuclear reactor that could power the moon base.

Rolls-Royce has received funding from the United Kingdom Space Agency to back research into how nuclear power could be used to support a future Moon base for astronauts. The Micro-Reactor program is aimed at providing the power needed for humans to live and work on the Moon.

The £2.9 million funding to Rolls-Royce will support the development of an initial demonstration of a UK lunar modular nuclear reactor. The space agency had previously provided £249,000 for a study to assess the feasibility of the micro-reactor on the Moon to support future missions.

“As we prepare to see humans return to the Moon for the first time in more than 50 years, we are backing exciting research like this lunar modular reactor with Rolls-Royce to pioneer new power sources for a lunar base,”  George Freeman, UK’s Minister of State at the Department of Science, Innovation, and Technology, said in a statement.

The company, which has been known to ace, fighter jet engines, and luxury cars, plans to have a reactor ready to send to the Moon by 2029.