A power and energy system for living on the moon

NASA planned to establish a permanent sustainable outpost on the moon by 2028 for the purposes of landing, living and exploring the surface of our celestial neighbor. Teams of scientists have been working on developing technologies that will enable astronauts to maintain a sustainable outpost and carry out research. The most important thing required for establishing such a human habitat on the moon, will be the provision of power and electrical energy on the cold and dark celestial body.

Kilopower system for living on the moon

A Team of scientists at NASA’s Glenn Research Center at Cleveland won a Gears of Government President’s Award for developing Kilopower―a power and energy system. The system was proved and demonstrated in a test called Kilopower Reacting Using Stirling Technology (KRUSTY).

Kilo-power is a small, light-weight fission reactor which can provide electrical energy up to 10 kilowatts to a small community of several households for at least ten years. According to Kilopower’s lead engineer, Marc Gibson, the innovative power system is ideal for extreme places and environments like the moon where power generation from sunlight is very difficult because a lunar night is very long and equivalent to 14 days on earth.

Lee Mason, the NASAs principal technologist for power and energy storage, said, “On the Moon, Kilo-power could be deployed to help search for resources in permanently shadowed craters”. He further explained other areas of application by saying that, “Kilopower also opens up the full
the surface of Mars, including the northern latitudes where water may reside.”