Rolls-Royce microreactor will send people to Mars. Travel will be 6 times faster

Rolls-Royce has shown a new image of a microreactor for spacecraft. According to representatives

company, it is "designed to be a safe and extremely reliable form of fuel."

Nuclear propulsion systems usingthe energy of splitting atoms, have great potential to speed up space travel and reduce travel time. This is of particular importance when sending people to Mars.

Rolls-Royce image showing early designmicronuclear reactor. Also, representatives of the company shared the details of the development. “Each particle of uranium is enclosed in several protective layers. They act as a containment system that can withstand the extreme conditions of space,” Rolls-Royce said.

Rolls-Royce microreactor concept. Photo: Rolls-Royce

Scientists and large organizations are increasinglyconsider nuclear fission for space. For example, last month NASA announced plans to build a functioning nuclear thermal rocket by 2027. And in a 2010 interview with Popular Science, Chang Diaz of the Ad Astra Rocket Company stated that “Chemical rockets are not going to get us to Mars. It will be too long a journey."

NASA is preparing to launch an engine on a nuclear reactor into space

A nuclear engine could cut the travel time to Mars from 8-9 months to 45 days or less.

Rolls-Royce is developing a nuclear fission system as part of an agreement signed with the UK Space Agency in 2021.

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On the cover: an artist's impression of the Ad Astra rocket
Source: Ad Astra