When launched from Earth to the moon, it should fit inside a 4-meter diameter cylinder

Sunday, December 19th, 2021

NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory have put out a request for proposals for a nuclear fission reactor for missions to the moon:

Submitted plans for the fission surface power system should include a uranium-fueled reactor core, a system to convert the nuclear power into usable energy, a thermal management system to keep the reactor cool, and a distribution system providing no less than 40 kilowatts of continuous electric power for 10 years in the lunar environment.

Some other requirements include that it be capable of turning itself off and on without human help, that it be able to operate from the deck of a lunar lander, and that it can be removed from the lander and run on a mobile system and be transported to a different lunar site for operation.

Additionally, when launched from Earth to the moon, it should fit inside a 12-foot (4-meter) diameter cylinder that’s 18 feet (6 meters) long. It should not weigh more than 13,200 pounds (6,000 kilograms).


  1. VXXC says:

    “request for proposals”.

    Wow. What a job. I needz to getz me one of dem jobs…

    Not long ago a young soldier partly tongue in cheek asked how he could get a good paying job without degree or experience.

    I replied with a list of free educational sites for coding, testing, and a list of certification programs, this being mostly tech certs. Clearly I have sinned and should have steered him towards government.

    I think it was Isegoria the other day mentioning we have been talking about rotating orbital stations for partial gravity for a long, long time. Maybe someone should put in a request for proposal?

  2. Bile Jones says:

    Well if NASA is going to try to fit a 4-meter generator into a 12-foot tube, they’re going to maintain their near perfect cluster-$#@! record.

  3. TRX says:

    Great. They’re issuing an RFP for something that’s literally 1960s technology.

    A portable reactor powered the Army’s “Camp Century” inside a glacier in Greenland, circa 1960.

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