NASA, DOE Seek Proposals for Lunar, Martian Nuclear Power System Written 3 September 2020


Artist's rendering of a Bimodal Nuclear Thermal Transfer Vehicle "Copernicus" in LEO | John Frassanito & Associates/NASA; Wikipedia; Public Domain

Space News reports that NASA and the Department of Energy “will seek proposals [from the] industry later this year for the development of a compact nuclear power system that can support the agency’s long-term lunar and Martian exploration plans.” During a Tuesday “presentation to the Technology, Innovation, and Engineering Committee of the NASA Advisory Council, agency officials said they expected to release a request for proposals in late September or early October for the first phase of its Fission Surface Power effort.” The project “seeks to develop a 10-kilowatt fission power system that could be placed on the moon as soon as 2027, providing power to enable long-term lunar surface activities, especially during the two-week night when solar power is not an option.” Nuclear Systems Portfolio Manager at NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate Anthony Calomino said, “It’s an enabling capability for a sustained lunar presence, particularly for surviving a lunar night.”
Full Story (Space News)