Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, the British luxury car company preparing to make the leap into the space industry. We all dream of having one of its prestigious models, but now the manufacturer is thinking of taking the two Rs into space.
According to a report published on the website of The debatethe multinational revealed a design concept for a nuclear microreactor, developed for faster trips or with a higher payload to the Moon or Mars.
The report adds that, in the long term, Rolls-Royce wants to use this microjet as a power source for future bases on our natural satellite and the red planet.
Uranium, the key to the reactor
The reactor will be based on uranium, a common fuel used in nuclear fission. Interestingly, the use of these microreactors for space travel is currently in the background, since propulsion based on chemical propellants takes precedence.
The main advantage of this type of reactor is its lightness, which would allow faster displacements or a greater volume of cargo.
A Rolls-Royce Micro-Reactor is designed to use an inherently safe and extremely robust fuel form. Each uranium particle is encapsulated in multiple protective layers that act as a containment system, allowing it to withstand extreme conditions.https://t.co/OOc9kBGXDx pic.twitter.com/wkXmZgzhrs
—Rolls-Royce (@RollsRoyce) January 27, 2023
Rolls-Royce hopes to have it ready by 2029 after raising $600 million in public and private funding. It is unknown if the final product will have the same design as the image that can be seen in the tweet above this paragraph.
In a company promotional videoThe Head of Innovation Products and Services, Jake Thompson, explained that Rolls-Royce Holdings “is in the concept, design, development and test phase of the reactor.” He clarified that they are working on a smaller-scale prototype.
At the same time, NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are working on a parallel project to develop a thermal rocket engine that could reduce the time of arrival in deep space.