Rolls-Royce is currently working on a power source for mining resourcing on the Moon and even Mars.
The firm recently released a joint study with the UK Space Agency into nuclear reactor development for space rockets and mining. The firm is taking a look at how a micro-nuclear reactor could be implemented into a rocket and then redeployed as a power source for mining on the Moon and mining on Mars. The head of Rolls-Royce's defense division, Dave Gordon, said that the firm can utilize its 60-years of development experience making nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Navy and apply it to nuclear rocket/space mining development.
Gordon said rockets and submarines are similar in the following ways, "non-air breathing environments, long-endurance, super reliable with a very dense power source." Gordon goes on to say that there aren't very many rare metals on Earth and that other objects in space have an abundance of these metals. Mining these metals will require a power source, and Gordon argues that the power source will have to be nuclear and not solar. For more information on this story, check out this link here.
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