Scientists at Bangor University in the UK have developed an energy source which could allow astronauts to live on the moon for a long time, according to a BBC report.
The energy source was reported to be nuclear fuel cells, the size of poppy seeds. According to the report, researchers have sent the tiny cell, which could be used to power a micro nuclear generator, to their partners for testing.
The team currently works with Rolls Royce, the UK Space Agency and NASA.
The team hoped to fully test the nuclear fuel over the next few months, according to the BBC, citing Simon Middleburgh, professor in Nuclear Materials and co-director from the Nuclear Futures Institute at Bangor University.
"Nuclear power is the only way we currently have to provide the power for that length of space travel. The fuel must be extremely robust and survive the forces of launch and then be dependable for many years," said Middleburgh.
The research could make space travel both safer and more efficient, using remote technologies and supplies found in space to sustain astronauts and spacecraft, according to the university.
The team is also working on a nuclear system to power rockets. The nuclear thermal propulsion is expected to shorten the time it takes to go to the Mars to six months, comparing to over nine months now, according to the BBC.