A successful power base on the red planet could create fuel, air and water for human settlers
The first humans to settle on Mars could have small nuclear power stations responsible for providing energy.
That’s because NASA is currently working on an £11 million project to develop nuclear fission reactors that could work on the red planet . The space agency has built several 6.5ft (1.98m) reactors and is due to start testing them here on Earth.
Each reactor splits uranium atoms in half to generate power and, if they pass the initial tests, they could be shipped to Mars to be tested there.
This isn’t the first time the US space agency has experimented with nuclear reactors in space.
Back in the 1960s it had a so-called SNAP (Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power) programme that developed, among other things, the radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG). This is, in effect, a small lump of decaying plutonium-238 that gives off heat and power as it breaks down.
Read more at NASA plans to put nuclear reactors on MARS to power a human colony