The government agency will now invest £2.9 million (around $3.52 million) in the project in order to “deliver an initial demonstration of a UK lunar modular nuclear reactor.”
“All space missions depend on a power source to support systems for communications, life-support, and science experiments,” the UKSA said.
“Nuclear power has the potential to dramatically increase the duration of future Lunar missions and their scientific value.”
We first reported on Rolls Royce’s ambitious plans in September of 2021.
At the time, the firm was looking into how a micro-nuclear reactor could be used to propel rockets while in space at huge speeds and how that technology could then be redeployed to provide energy for drilling, processing, and storage for “Moon mining” and possibly “Mars mining.”
The company also claimed it would use its experience in developing nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Navy for 60 years to apply what it learned to spacecraft since submarines and spacecraft are somewhat similar.