Nuclear Skills Strategy Group

12 Jan 2021

Rolls-Royce & UK Space Agency launches first study into nuclear power for space


Rolls-Royce has signed an innovative contract with the UK Space Agency for a study into future nuclear power options for space exploration. This first contract between both organisations represents an exciting opportunity to define and shape the nuclear power solutions required in space in the decades to come.

Rolls-Royce is the only company in the world with a singular focus on creating mechanical, electrical and nuclear power solutions that will be essential in tackling the challenges of the future. Space is one such challenging and growing sector in which Rolls-Royce believe power, propulsion and thermal management will play a significant role.

Dave Gordon, UK Senior Vice President, Rolls-Royce Defence, said: “We are excited to be working with the UK Space Agency on this pioneering project to define future nuclear power technologies for space. We believe there is a real niche UK capability in this area and this initiative can build on the strong UK nuclear network and supply chain.

“We look forward to developing this and other exciting space projects in the future as we continue to develop the power to protect our planet, secure our world and explore our universe”

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “As we build back better from the pandemic, it is partnerships like this between business, industry and government that will help to create jobs and bring forward pioneering innovations that will advance UK spaceflight.  

“Nuclear power presents transformative possibilities for space exploration and this innovative study with Rolls-Royce could help to propel our next generation of astronauts into space faster and for longer, significantly increasing our knowledge of the universe.”

Press release.

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