Credit: NASA


NASA’s Artemis return to the Moon program has gotten a power boost – in the form of a lunar fission surface power system.

NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have chosen three design concept proposals for a fission surface power system design that could be ready to launch by the end of the decade for a demonstration outing on the Moon.

A trio of awards have been issued by the Department of Energy and NASA. One of those selected was IX, a joint venture between Intuitive Machines and X-energy, a contract to conduct a one-year study to mature the design of a Fission Surface Power (FSP) solution that will deliver at least 40 kWe power flight system to the Moon by 2028.
Credit: Intuitive Machines

Contract awards

The contracts call for initial design concepts for a 40-kilowatt (kWe) class fission power system planned to last at least 10 years in the lunar environment.

The Phase 1, 12-month contracts were awarded to:

  • Lockheed Martin of Bethesda, Maryland – The company will partner with BWXT and Creare.
  • Westinghouse of Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania – The company will partner with Aerojet Rocketdyne.
  • IX of Houston, Texas, a joint venture of Intuitive Machines and X-Energy – The company will partner with Maxar and Boeing.

Battelle Energy Alliance, the managing and operating contractor for Idaho National Laboratory, led the Request for Proposal development, evaluation, and procurement sponsored by NASA.

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