China has reportedly been developing a powerful nuclear reactor for its groundbreaking moon and Mars mission
- By Jona Jaupi
CHINA has reportedly been developing a powerful nuclear reactor for its groundbreaking moon and Mars mission.
The reactor was designed to power the spacecraft and propulsion using one megawatt of electricity.
That means the reactor is 100 times more powerful than a similar device Nasa is developing for the Moon, per Interesting Engineering.
Meanwhile, Space estimated that the reactor has enough power for 10 International Space Stations.
Most recently, the reactor passed a comprehensive performance review by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology on August 25.
Developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the reactor has been funded by the Chinese central government since 2019.
Currently, there are no details on how China is planning to use the reactor.
However, many space missions often turn to nuclear power when solar energy is not accessible – such as in the dark zones of the Moon.
Nuclear power may even be used to help propel spaceflight missions to Mars.
NASA, DARPA, and the Department of Defense are all working on nuclear projects, per Space.
China has long been vocal about its plans to dominate the aerospace industry – from the moon to Mars.
It is currently in the process of developing its own space station dubbed Tiangong.
The space station is being constructed in low-Earth orbit – between 210 and 280 miles above the surface.
China launched the first module of Tiangong last year and hopes to add more by the end of this year.
China has ambitions for Tiagnong to replace the International Space Station (ISS) after it retires in a few years.
Because of US law, the ISS is prohibited from hosting China-backed astronauts or sharing data with China.