Rolls-Royce’s micro-reactor can send humans to Mars

Rolls-Royce's new micro-reactor can send people to Mars - Photo 1.

Rolls-Royce’s new micro-reactor – Photo: TWITTER

Car company technology helps speed up spaceships

The iconic carmaker recently tweeted the image along with the caption: “Each uranium bead is encased in multiple layers of protection that acts as a containment system, allowing the reactor to withstand extreme conditions. harsh”.

Currently, Rolls-Royce is designing a nuclear fission system, part of an agreement it signed with the UK Space Agency in 2021.

Nuclear propulsion systems for space, which harness the energy generated during atomic fission, have great potential to speed up space travel and reduce transit times.

This patented technique is especially important when sending humans to Mars.

The race between major scientific organizations

Scientists and major scientific organizations are also increasingly considering the use of nuclear fission for space.

For example, last month, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced plans to build a working thermonuclear rocket. be in 2027.

Recently, NASA also chose to develop Phase I nuclear propulsion. This is an activity under the Innovative Advanced Concepts Program (NIAC) for 2023.

NASA has a long history of looking at nuclear propulsion for spacecraft. For example, the Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application (NERVA) Program has been successfully tested. However, the program was discontinued at the same time the Apollo era ended in 1973.

More recently, NASA’s Prometheus project in the early 2000s tested nuclear propulsion concept technologies for long-duration space missions. The project was canceled in 2005 also due to budget constraints.

Meanwhile, the private company Ad Astra, founded by former NASA astronaut Franklin R. Chang Díaz, has completed a record 88-hour high-power endurance test of the Vasimr VX plasma rocket -200SS at 80 kW in 2021.

Ad Astra claims it has the nuclear rocket technology that could eventually send humans to Mars at a speed of about 197,950 km/h.

Why use nuclear fission for space travel?

Safety is of course a top priority when sending nuclear fission reactors into space. Most of the companies that are testing the technology assume that their systems will only start fission reactions once they’re already in space.

As described by Rolls-Royce, the company also emphasizes sturdy materials that can withstand the harsh conditions of space.

The benefits of using nuclear propulsion are said to outweigh the risks.

In a 2010 interview with Popular ScienceAd Astra scientist Chang Díaz declared “chemical rockets won’t get us to Mars. It’s too long a journey”.

Nuclear propulsion could reduce the 8-9 month travel to Mars – compared with using current technologies – to about 45 days or less.

This would significantly reduce the amount of time astronauts are exposed to radiation and the length of time that is prone to potential disasters.

US helps Thailand develop small nuclear reactorUS helps Thailand develop small nuclear reactor

TTO – US Vice President Kamala Harris announced that Washington will help Thailand develop small nuclear reactors in an effort to combat climate change. These furnaces will be safe because no human intervention is required to turn off in an emergency.

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