Lunar dreams, powered by atom

The US' biggest rival in space exploration, China, too, is banking on nuclear energy to power its moon base

Kumar Abishek
Photo: | Fred Espenak

A little over 50 years after Apollo 17 astronauts set foot on the moon, multiple countries and companies are joining an ever-intensifying race to stake claims to the lunar surface. At least three countries — the US, China, and Russia — have announced plans to put humans there by the end of this decade. India is also gearing up to launch its Chandrayaan 3 mission comprising three modules, propulsion, lander and rover, in the second week of July this year — a stepping stone in its quest of sending humans there.
There are plans to eventually establish research stations there which may serve as staging posts to future missions to Mars — all powered by nuclear energy. Why? Because, according to Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for Nasa’s Science Mission Directorate, “Future nuclear power and propulsion systems will help revolutionise our understanding of the solar system and beyond and play a crucial role in enabling long-t
Disclaimer: These are personal views of the writer. They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of or the Business Standard newspaper

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First Published: May 19 2023 | 10:27 PM IST

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