The British spacecraft can travel to Mars in half the time it now takes using its nuclear propulsion engines Rolls-Royce Under a new agreement with the British Space Agency.
The space company hopes that nuclear-powered engines will help astronauts reach Mars within three to four months, twice as fast as the most powerful chemical engines, and open up deeper space exploration in the coming decades.
Partnership between Rolls-Royce The British Space Agency will bring together planetary scientists to explore how to use nuclear energy to “revolutionize space travel,” according to the government.
Dr. Graham Turnnock, Chief Executive Officer of the United Kingdom Void The agency said the use of nuclear energy in space was “a game-changing concept that could open up future deep space missions that take us to Mars and beyond.”
“This study will help us understand the exciting potential of spacecraft powered by atomic energy, and whether this nascent technology can help us travel farther and faster distances through space than ever before,” he said.
The government hopes that nuclear technology can transform space travel by providing ample power to operate the spacecraft as it travels far from the sun and is unable to take advantage of solar energy.
Rolls-Royce has provided the nuclear propulsion technology used to power the Royal Navy submarine fleet for 60 years. The company hopes to build Several small modular nuclear reactors On the ground too, to help meet the UK’s growing electricity demand.
Dave Gordon, Head of Defense at Rolls-Royce, said the UK’s “flagship project” in nuclear space propulsion could capitalize on the UK’s “true specialized capacity” by building on The Current British Nuclear Industry And supply chain.
Britain’s plan to build an atomic spacecraft will not be the first. American scientists first tested nuclear spacecraft technology in the Nevada desert in the 1950s and 1960s before the program was canceled in 1971.
The United States has undertaken several nuclear space programs in recent decades. Late last year, the US government issued a new space policy directive to advance NASA’s nuclear developments.
Amanda Soloway, UK Science Secretary, said nuclear energy “offers transformative potential.” space explorationIt can help create jobs.
She said studying with Rolls-Royce could help “push our next generation of astronauts into space faster and for a longer duration, which would greatly increase our knowledge of the universe.”