Rolls-Royce's Micro-Reactor programme aims to develop technology that will provide the energy needed for humans to live and work on the Moon.

The project will receive £2.9m of new funding from the UK Space Agency, following £249,000 provided for an initial study in 2022, and will aim to develop a lunar nuclear reaction by 2029. 

Nuclear power has the potential to dramatically increase the duration of future Lunar missions and their scientific value, as it can provide the energy necessary to support systems for communications, life-support and science experiments. 

However, power sources have been particularly difficult to transport to outer space. For this reason, Rolls-Royce's vision of a relatively small and lightweight nuclear microreactor could be the key to enabling continuous power regardless of location, available sunlight and other environmental conditions.