Not everyone knows about it, but the British company Rolls-Royce is not only luxurious and expensive cars, but also high-tech aerospace developments . The concern recently announced ongoing work on the creation of a microreactor to provide energy to ships during long-term space missions. The use of nuclear energy will make rockets more efficient and flights cheaper. In addition, such an energy source could be the best solution for the lunar – and, subsequently, for the Martian base.
Safety has become a key element in the Rolls-Royce project. To do this, each portion of uranium will be enclosed in several shells that can withstand high overloads and extreme space conditions. The company has been working on this project for several years. It will also use the experience and developments of the US agency NASA, since the United States is also very interested in its success.
One of the technology options involves the use of the natural decay of nuclear material. In this case, the heat that can be converted into electrical energy will be released for several decades. The introduction of such reactors will be a breakthrough that will mark a new era in space exploration. Similar projects have been launched in the US, developments are being carried out by Lockheed Martin, Westinghouse, X-Energy and Intuitive Machines. British Rolls-Royce plans to introduce a working microreactor by 2028, with its subsequent commissioning in 2030. Competitors say that they will cope with the task at least a year earlier