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40-kW system planned to last at least 10 years in lunar environment A demonstration of fission systems on the Moon would pave the way for long-duration missions on the Moon and Mars. Courtesy Nasa. US Space agency Nasa has chosen three companies to provide an initial design concept for a fission surface power system that could be ready to launch to the Moon by the end of the decade.

The companies are Pennsylvania-based Westinghouse Electric Company; Maryland-based Lockheed Martin; and Texas-based X, a joint venture of Intuitive Machines and X-Energy.

The 12-month contracts are valued at $5m each and will fund the development of initial design concepts for a 40-kW class fission power system planned to last at least 10 years in the lunar environment.

Nasa said fission systems, which are relatively small and lightweight compared to other power systems, could enable continuous power regardless of location, available sunlight, and other natural environmental conditions. A demonstration of such systems on the Moon would pave the way for long-duration missions on the Moon and Mars.

Date: Tuesday, 12 July 2022
Original article: nucnet.org/news/nasa-chooses-three-companies-to-produce-concepts-for-fission-surface-power-system-7-1-2022

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