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NASA Selects 3 Fission Design Concepts for a Power Supply on the Moon

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NASA and the Department of Energy (DOE) have chosen three design concept proposals for a nuclear fission surface power system that could be launch-ready by 2030 for a demonstration on the Moon.

Awarded through the DOE's Idaho National Laboratory, each of the three contracts is valued at around $5 million for the development of design concepts of a 40-kilowatt-class fission power system(Opens in a new window): enough to continuously run 30 households for 10 years.

The three contract winners are Lockheed Martin of Maryland (partnering with BWXT and Creare), Westinghouse of Pennsylvania (partnering with Aerojet Rocketdyne), and IX of Texas—a joint venture of Intuitive Machines and X-Energy (partnering with Maxar and Boeing).

The technology—a sort of cosmic power outlet(Opens in a new window)—would benefit future space exploration under the Artemis program, which is set to land the first woman and first person of color on Earth's satellite.

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