China to supply nuclear power to scientific research station at Moon’s South Pole.
According to the South China Morning Post newspaper, Mr. Wu Weiren, the main designer of Chinese lunar exploration programtold broadcaster CCTV: “We are developing a new system that uses nuclear energy to meet the growing, long-term energy needs of Scientific Research Station on the Moon“.
Drawing of the International Lunar Research Station
Drawing of the International Lunar Research Station, a facility developed by the China National Space Administration and its Russian partner Roscosmos. (Photo: CNSA).
However, Wu did not specify the technical details of the new reactor. But according to previous information, this reactor can produce 1 megawatt of electricity, which is enough electricity to power hundreds of homes for 1 year.
Nuclear energy is a stable and reliable source of energy, regardless of location or sunlight. It can provide the energy to operate equipment, create oxygen and split water for astronauts.
China’s lunar research station is expected to be completed in 2028. The basic structure of the station includes a lander, a hopper, an orbiter as well as a rover powered by nuclear energy.
Wu said the rover, piloted by astronauts, would be much larger than the two robots China has operated on the Moon – including the solar-powered Yutu-2 probe, still operating after nearly 4 years . Additionally, the new system can also power cone vessels, devices capable of “take off from the surface of the Moon several times” and has the ability to enter and exit hidden craters to search for water sources.
Nuclear power will also support communications facilities at the Moon research station, to maintain contact with Earth as well as transmit signals between Earth, Mars and beyond during deep space missions.
According to Wu, the basic structure of the new system will be established based on the Chang’e 6, 7 and 8 missions. Soon after, Chinese astronauts will set foot on the Moon for the first time.
Moon shell. (Photo: NASA)
The Moon’s south polar region has become a popular target for lunar bases. Countries like China, the United States and Russia are planning to build space bases in this area.
“China is the first country to propose building this research station at the south pole of the Moon”Wu said. This researcher also said that at a latitude of about 89 degrees south, there can be 180 days of continuous light to maintain the long-term operation of equipment and astronauts.
China continues to make efforts to develop the Chang Nga 6, 7 and 8 spacecraft. This is the fourth phase of the national Moon exploration program. Over the past 15 years, Beijing has successfully launched five missions – Chang’a 1 to 5 – into orbit, successfully landing spacecraft to collect rock samples on the Moon.
Wu said China will focus on four aspects of deep space exploration in the next 10 to 15 years. In addition to the lunar base, China will also conduct research on asteroid impacts, planetary exploration and develop other heavy launch vehicles.
“We need to increase rocket thrust by at least a factor of four to support human landings on the Moon and Mars and mass transport between Earth and near-Earth space.”he said.
Article source: News Journal
If there is an error in the article China develops nuclear system to power base on the Moon, or if the content is incorrect, please contact us so we can correct it.
China will supply nuclear power to the scientific research station located at the South Pole of the Moon. According to the South China Morning Post newspaper, Mr. Wu Weiren, the…