The dark side of the moon. Source: Wikicommons
In the second half of November, a procedure was opened in the United States to search for outside contractors to design and deliver a nuclear reactor for use at the Silver Globe. Session hosts are NASA and Idaho National Laboratory, which work within the structure of the Department of Energy.
The connection strictly stipulates the requirements for the lunar power source. That is, it will be an atomic reactor for fissile material, the role of which will be played by uranium. The weight of the entire device should not exceed six tons.
The system will be assembled on the surface of the Earth, then completely lifted into space and delivered to the surface of the natural satellite of our planet. Accordingly, the reactor should not be too large. Two of its dimensions should be between 400 and 600 cm, respectively.
In addition, the contracting authorities expect that the device will be able to turn on and off without human intervention, and astronauts will be able to control the operation of the reactor directly from the surface of the lunar lander. The entire power infrastructure component must also be mobile, so that it can be separated from the probe and moved to a place on the Silver Globe, where it will be most needed at a certain moment.
American decision makers hope that the final reactor will be able to provide at least 40 kilowatts of power during its 10 years of operation. Designers should also take care of reactor cooling systems and, in general, ensure that the entire system is resistant to the large temperature differences that occur on the lunar surface.
The power plant will operate independently of sunlight, and also provide electricity when a moonlit night falls overhead. This solution is a prerequisite for people to spend more time in the Silver Globe.
Entities wishing to participate in the construction of the lunar reactor can apply until February 19, 2022.
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