NASA: Kilopower project

Energy is the most critical of commodities whether on Earth or on the Moon. Humans eat to obtain energy to power their bodies. Humans release stores of energy to power their technology. One of the most amazing, controlled releases of energy occurs whenever we launch platforms into space.

Living on the Moon will require great amounts of energy. In comparison, consider the International Space Stations. Its solar arrays provide about 100kW of power. That ‘s a lot. While solar arrays will certainly provide some power on the Moon, they need to always be aimed at the Sun. And be dust free. This may not always be practicable. We have other, higher density power sources. For example, NASA is developing KRUSTY. This little fission reactor could provide 10kW of baseline power for up to 10 years.  One or more KRUSTY reactors could provide local power for locations on the Moon or even remote locations on the Earth. These sources of controlled energy could make the lives of humans on the Moon very resourceful.

For those interested in a little history, check out the TOPAZ reactor for a different, Soviet design.

In any case, remember the human need for energy. It is critical to our bodies and our technology. On the Moon we will be relying upon machines for recirculating air, growing plants, and cleaning water. And the machines like us, won’t function without energy.  So we have to have an assured source of controlled energy. Before we set foot back upon the Moon.

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