UK Space Agency and Rolls-Royce join forces to develop nuclear-powered spacecraft engine

14/01/2021 08:33 Nuclear

news

The technology is predicted to halve the projected duration of journeys to Mars to up to four months

The UK Space Agency and Rolls-Royce have joined forces to develop nuclear-powered spacecraft engines.

 

The partnership will see scientists work together to examine the potential of an atomic-powered spacecraft and explore whether this technology could help people travel faster through space than ever before.

 

By some estimates, this kind of engine could be twice as efficient as the chemical engines that power rockets currently.

 

Spacecraft powered by this engine could make it to Mars in just three to four months, which is approximately half the time of the fastest possible trip in a spacecraft using current chemical propulsion.

 

Scientists expect the technology could also help to reduce the dose of radiation taken on by astronauts while making trips to Mars or other planets.

 

The amount of radiation increases the longer astronauts spend in deep space, away from the protection given by the Earth’s magnetosphere.

 

Dr Graham Turnock, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said: “Space nuclear power and propulsion is a game-changing concept that could unlock future deep-space missions that take us to Mars and beyond.”

 

Dave Gordon, UK Senior Vice President at Rolls-Royce Defence, said: “We are excited to be working with the UK Space Agency on this pioneering project to define future nuclear power technologies for space. We believe there is a real niche UK capability in this area and this initiative can build on the strong UK nuclear network and supply chain.

 

“We look forward to developing this and other exciting space projects in the future as we continue to develop the power to protect our planet, secure our world and explore our universe.”

 

source:energylivenews.com

Oil products caught between Covid and green push

24/02/2021 08:51:00

Most forecasts for products demand and prices have been steadily revised upwards as vaccination programmes have got underway and this has created positive market sentiment, Argus' global head of oil products Stephen Jones told the forum held today during the IP Week conference. But, any actual demand recovery will depend on how quickly governments lift lockdown measures. One major unknown is how well the vaccines will deal with new variants of Covid-19.

<READ MORE

EU says it does not need Nord Stream 2, but only Germany can block it

24/02/2021 08:42:00

The European Union does not need the Nord Stream 2 pipeline for its energy security but any decision to stop the project carrying Russian natural gas to Germany would have to come from Berlin, a senior European Commission official said on Tuesday.

READ MORE

how geothermal could help eastern EU countries ditch fossil fuels

24/02/2021 08:34:00

Countries like Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Romania and Croatia sit over the Pannonian basin, which has huge potential for geothermal energy and is over 10°C per kilometre hotter than the European average, making them a prime location for geothermal deployment.

READ MORE