The UK Space Agency has announced a new investment in projects that could potentially transform the UK’s capacity to embark on deep space missions in a sustainable way.
The agency has unveiled £1.6 million in funding for eight projects – among them, is a technique that aims to demonstrate the effectiveness of nuclear-based fuels for space propulsion.
A new project is also underway to develop a design for a nuclear fission power system that can facilitate space exploration – scientists believe that fission reactors are critical in providing the necessary power for large-scale space operations.
A range of other innovative projects is set to be backed as well, including a system that recycles breathing gases during space emissions and techniques from extracting resources, such as oxygen and metals from Moon rock.
Minister of State with responsibility for Space at the new Department of Science, Innovation and Technology, George Freeman, said: “Space is the ultimate frontier, laboratory and technology testbed.
“The UK’s long history of leadership in deep space science and exploration is key to both understanding our solar system and origins of life, and creating opportunities for our high growth space tech sector.”