Rolls-Royce Developing Moon Mining Nuclear Reactor

Rolls-Royce Auto Concerts is expanding its horizons by working on the development of a nuclear reactor for the production of resources on the moon and Mars. Drawing on its extensive experience in aerospace and nuclear energy, the company is exploring the potential use of a micro-core reactor to power missiles in outer space and to support drilling, processing, and storage energy needs on celestial bodies.

Dave Gordon, the head of Rolls-Royce’s defense unit, attributed these advancements to the achievements of Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk in space exploration. SpaceX, under Musk’s leadership, recently launched its Falcon 9 lunar module, aiming to be the first private company to reach the Moon’s South Pole.

Rolls-Royce’s distinctive advantage lies in its expertise across mechanical, electrical, and full life cycle nuclear technologies. With a 60-year track record in developing nuclear submarines for the UK’s Royal Navy, the company plans to leverage this experience in the space industry, drawing parallels between submarines and spacecraft.

Rolls-Royce’s lunar nuclear reactor project

Earlier this year, Rolls-Royce collaborated with the UK Space Agency on a joint study to explore nuclear energy supply options for space missions. However, the initiative to develop mini nuclear reactors extends beyond just one company. For instance, China has already begun using micro-core reactors to power batteries and smartphones.

Exploration of mining resources on the moon, including the rare Helium-3 element used in thermonuclear fusion, could be a significant step towards reducing global dependence on China, which currently supplies up to 90% of rare earth metals.

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.