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Safe Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion with Paolo Venneri from USNC-Tech

As a child, Paolo Venneri began to notice a theme in his beloved science fiction: All space-faring civilizations relied on an ultimate power source. Growing up in Los Alamos, home to the famous national energy laboratory, Paolo was surrounded by scientists and engineers tackling this very issue.

Eventually, Paolo would too, with his company, USNC-Tech, which develops safe nuclear power and propulsion for space exploration.

Paolo’s ambition is to make the technology commercially available and used for permanent bases on the moon and beyond.

More information: https://usnc.com/space/


Dr. Paolo Venneri is the Executive Vice President of Ultra Safe Nuclear’s Advanced Technologies division, where he leads projects related to developing fuel and reactor designs for nuclear thermal propulsion, nuclear electric propulsion, and surface fission power.

His technical background includes researching the development of Low-Enriched Uranium Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (LEU-NTP) systems for the past five years. Dr. Venneri was the first to publish on LEU-NTP systems’ neutronic design, and is actively involved in the development of LEU graphite composite, tungsten cermet, and advanced NTP systems.

DISCLAIMER: Below is an AI generated transcript. There could be a few typos but it should be at least 90% accurate. Watch video or listen to the podcast for the full experience!

Paolo Venneri 0:00
By switching to a high and a low enriched uranium fuel, you’re able to have a system that can be developed, owned and operated by a commercial entity. Because it’s not weapons grade material. And so by making that fundamental switch, you’re enabling technology that previously was a government weapons technology to become a commercial system.

Alexander Ferguson 0:28
Welcome to UpTech Report. This is our applied tech series UpTech Report is sponsored by TeraLeap. Learn how to leverage the power of video at teraleap.io. Today, I’m joined by my guest all Poalo Venneri who’s based in Seattle, Washington. He’s the CEO at USNC-Tech. Welcome Paolo could have you on. Thank you very much, very happy to be here. Now USNC-Tech is you guys are focused on developing nuclear technology for human permanence in space. What a statement. I’m excited for this whole conversation, your background PhD, from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in nuclear and quantum engineering. And your ultimate goal is to be the first utility on the Moon and Mars, providing safe power. I like it, I am excited. Were you always like was this in your brain from from early on? Like, where did this whole vision and focus come from? Well,

Paolo Venneri 1:23
I would say it actually started pretty early on. I grew up in Los Alamos, New Mexico, growing around growing up around scientists, engineers, really thinking outside of the box. And part of that is being exposed to science fiction at a very early age. And so whenever you read the science fiction books, rotch science fiction movies, there’s always that power source that enables everything, like you know, this is really amazing settlements in space, you know, going across the solar system, galaxies, there’s always that power source of power sources, enabling for everything

Alexander Ferguson 1:57
you looked at, if I want this future world to exist, the power has, that’s the starting point. And let me get involved in that. Exactly. Now, speaking of your environment, and those that inspire your father, right, you started USMC, is that correct? That is correct. Back in 2011. That’s an 11. So you’re already around that, and and his his own interests aligns with that, did you go to school already prior to this, like, what was the timeline of all of your personal involvement and moving towards this future vision.

Paolo Venneri 2:31
So let’s see, when I went to undergrad, I did physics and international relations. You know, science is a very international field, doing these big projects is international international affair. There, we got exposed to non proliferation and non proliferation of nuclear weapons, it’s actually a very sophisticated field, how you can have peaceful use of nuclear technology, without having nuclear weapons as well. Definitely gives you an interesting insight into nuclear as a global regime.

Alexander Ferguson 3:00
I feel like most people when they think of nuclear, they’re thinking of weapons of mass destruction and not a tool to actually move humanity forward.

Paolo Venneri 3:11
Yes, it’s a Luckily, there’s nuclear everywhere, that enables a lot of things. And it’s also in part because of nonproliferation work. And so part of that is designing systems that use non weapons grade material, such as what are known as low enriched uranium. So that was a perspective that I developed in undergrad through exposure to this field. And then I did my PhD work yet in South Korea, where they were building and developing nuclear reactors for commercial applications on the ground. And there I focused on looking at nuclear propulsion for in space applications. And there, the the focus of that was looking at this technology that had actually been developed and tested back in the 60s. And seeing whether you could develop that technology using commercial grade nuclear fuel. So using low enriched uranium, and basically developing systems that can be used and operated by commercial companies.

Alexander Ferguson 4:09
They because the difference in between commercial grade and non a, there’s so much complexities if you’re you, obviously you could use non commercial grade, but you want that proliferation or to be able to grow, you have to bring it down, and you’ve proven that it is possible.

Paolo Venneri 4:25
Exactly. And that was actually one of the key things that we did was showing that using non weapons grade fuel. You could have a system in space that has similar performance characteristics as a system that uses weapons grade fuel. And the key. The way we actually distinguish between weapons grade fuel and non weapons grade, is how easy it is to make a nuclear weapon out of it. weapons grade fuel, you can make a nuclear weapon out of it. You just have to know how to make it. Instead with a non weapons grade material, it becomes much much more difficult to make a nuclear weapon out of it just simply from the physics endpoint.

Alexander Ferguson 5:01
Gotcha. So that’s that’s the differentiation now, were you personally like involved in that that discovery? What was that moment

Paolo Venneri 5:07
like? So it actually was was a, it was an interesting moment, you know, when you first start your PhD work, your your first task is identify what your thesis topic is going to be. And I was looking at like, okay, nuclear thermal propulsion, I’m really excited. This is very cool stuff, nuclear power systems space. Now, this is what I want to do. And then as I was reading, through my literature review, I found that every single thing that had been published was with high enriched uranium or weapons grade material, I’m like, wait, what do you mean, this is? This doesn’t work. And so at that point, like, wait, let’s, let’s see if whether we can make this work with the with low enriched uranium? And, you know, you run your models on your simulations, and it worked.

Alexander Ferguson 5:54
Was it was it? What did you just suddenly start to share with people? And then they got the concept? Or was it? Was it readily accepted? and say, Wow, this has potential or is it no interest? When you first shared it? Well,

Paolo Venneri 6:08
funny, you should ask it actually, originally was not accepted very widely. I would go and presented a couple conferences, and a lot of these more experienced engineers would be like, no, this flat out, there’s no way it’s gonna work. It’s gonna be too heavy. It’s, there’s no reason why we would do this. No high enriched uranium, we can make this work. Why would we ever go with this, you know, theoretically lower performance fuel. But after about a year or so some, some key folks over at NASA start picking this up. And like, wait, this could change how we do nuclear systems for space applications. And since then, now we have the NASA nuclear propulsion program is all using low enriched uranium fuel. The DARPA program, which is working on nuclear thermal propulsion, is also looking at Hi, Sal, you as the only fuel that they’re going to be using.

Alexander Ferguson 6:57
And this is because of your your thesis.

Paolo Venneri 7:01
If you go far back enough, yes, a lot of cascading things happened since then. But you know, I like to think that I had a had a part in doing that and enabling that to happen.

Alexander Ferguson 7:12
Obviously, keeping that energy and focus, when people keep saying no, was that easy for you? where you’re like, Oh, I feel this, I’m going to push this forward, or did you ever have a moment you’re like, I don’t know, maybe I should switch to something different. I never had that

Paolo Venneri 7:27
moment of thinking of switching to something different. I definitely had, you know, a lot of self doubts. Like, wait, you know, everybody’s saying it can’t be done. But it’s, it’s it’s working, is, you know, am I doing this, right? Luckily, I found a team of folks that was, you know, both very good and competent, that worked with me, and essentially validated the work that I was doing on different systems, looking from different perspectives. And we built a team out of that, that is still with me today.

Alexander Ferguson 7:54
So you, you bring the thesis, you prove it, you stuck with it, you found the team. Fast forward to today, it’s actually you say it’s being implemented, you guys are working on what can you share of what’s happening right now. So to

Paolo Venneri 8:08
day in the United States, there’s two big nuclear thermal new space nuclear programs going on right now. We’ve got the NASA nuclear thermal propulsion program, where they’re working on an engine demonstrator for future Mars missions. And then you’ve got a DARPA LEAD program to develop a nuclear thermal propulsion system for operation in cislunar. space. cislunar space is basically everything between here and the moon and around it.

Alexander Ferguson 8:36
Got it. So it’s much closer. But so in both cases, it’s it’s DARPA’s here, and then NASA’s further Mars in both cases, it should be usable.

Paolo Venneri 8:45
Exactly. And then there’s also a program that NASA is putting together for developing nuclear reactors for the lunar surface. We’re involved in all three of these in some level or another. We’re one of the NASA Prime’s for the nuclear propulsion program for NASA, one of three teams that were selected that we’re leading, were supporting Blue Origin and support with their work on the Draco side developing the spacecraft, they use nuclear rockets. And then we are definitely working on that reactor for the lunar surface.

Alexander Ferguson 9:17
For sure, what what are you most excited about and all those opportunities?

Paolo Venneri 9:23
Honestly, I it’s like picking your favorite child. It’s a it’s a tough one. Because you know, first Do you need advanced propulsion to get places faster and better, right go farther faster. And then once you’re there, you need power to really do things right if you want to mine mine materials on the lunar surface. If you want to have people living on the moon or on Mars for long periods of time, you need lots of power, just like you need it to get there and you need that to stay there.

Alexander Ferguson 9:51
I think a lot of people don’t consider the the power needed and think of the general audience or viewer or person may think of just oh, let’s just get there and then Okay, I don’t know, throw up some solar panels. I mean, how do you view the the interest is, are you always having to educate people on the need for this type of consistent power.

Paolo Venneri 10:16
So I think intellectually, we understand that we need it, but actually understanding in your bones that you need power consistently in that much power is not something that we’re really accustomed to, right. Nowadays, most stuff most activities in space are science missions, right? Whether they have been trained to develop systems that use watts and most likely a kilowatt of power your toaster oven requires you know 10s 10s of kilowatts to operate and your and your house, if you look at your at the bill for your house, at the end of the month, you know, you’re using 100 kilowatt hours, like it’s it’s a lot of power. Now, if you want to be on the moon, it’s everything you’re already doing in your house. And then reprocessing reprocessing all of the air, purifying water, keeping the temperature at a comfortable living level, as well as you know, watching Netflix, you know, relaxing, eating food that is tasty, it’s it’s power intensive.

Alexander Ferguson 11:18
Now the the opportunities of particularly this low enriched, and that’s what’s got high acid, low enriched uranium, that’s that’s the halo what you’re gonna develop, right? You you strongly feel that’s the best option just because of its commercially available and versus going for other solutions that exist, right?

Paolo Venneri 11:39
Well, the, at the core of it, by switching to a high and a low enriched uranium fuel, you’re able to have a system that can be developed, owned and operated by a commercial entity. Because it’s not weapons grade material. And so by making that fundamental switch, you’re enabling a technology that previously was a government weapons technology to become a commercial system.

Alexander Ferguson 12:07
And if you truly want something to scale, and bring in the enterprise, bring it bringing the opportunities for businesses to do it. And if anything, I feel like we’re we’re experiencing that more and more in headlines of billionaires who are going to space and be real, like starting to realize that this is more readily available. I’m curious for your own personal perspective, do you feel like this? The popular popular interest is again, growing for for space? It absolutely is? I mean, have you been seeing what’s going on in the headlines these days, its launch costs have dropped down by an order of magnitude in the last, you know, in the last number of years, the number of launches going into space, it’s approaching that hockey stick, kind of kind of paradigm. It’s becoming easier things are happening. It’s, it’s what do you see as then the main barriers that they’re going to prevent for the continued development and growth of space movement exploration.

Paolo Venneri 13:06
So one of the key barriers historically is access to space, right. So it used to cost more than about more than your weight and gold to send something up into space. And that’s actually low balling it now is becoming affordable. Like you can have universities on a university budget, sending satellites into orbit, you have activities, working on sending hundreds of metric tons into space, which is unheard of. But it’s becoming a very real possibility now to see that within the next 510 years. Now, once you’re there, what do you want to do? I mean, if you have 100 metric tons of payload to work with, you can do a lot of things. But you in order to do all those things, you need power. And I think that’s actually one of the key limiters to us be able to actually take full advantage of this newly realized access to space is having power there to be able to do everything you want to do. And that’s what we’re actually doing right now is developing that technology so that when all these activities want to be darting in space, will have the power there to enable them to do that.

Alexander Ferguson 14:20
developing this technology for space, is it very different than developing for terrestrial for use, because that’s what your pen company can see focused on right the terrestrial side is it is how different is it then for space usage versus Hey, let me just throw up the one of these units over here. And in our workspace,

Paolo Venneri 14:44
there’s actually a lot of similarities. For example, the reactor that we’re developing for the lunar surface uses the exact same nuclear fuel that our terrestrial reactor does. It’s a high performance fuel is inherently resistant towards x. Since you’re not going to have meltdowns, retains all the fission products, which is the bad things that are the things that have produced during a nuclear reaction that contains them, you’re not gonna have nuclear fallout, those are the same they translate across the board, how do we control these systems. Similarly, the autonomous control methodologies also translate across, the differences start showing up when you look at the environment outside of the reactor. Right. So when you have power conversion, you always have to have a heat sink. somewhere that you’re going to put in your waste heat. On the ground, we have rivers, we have the atmosphere, you have steam, you have the ocean, really, relatively straightforward to do. In space, you have a vacuum. vacuum is an extremely good insulator, and so you have to design different ways to to get rid of your your, your your excess heat. And so you develop large radiators, you optimize to have higher temperature materials. There, there’s some differences at that same point, but at its core, the nuclear technology itself is very similar.

Alexander Ferguson 16:06
I appreciate the the visual analogy of we have rivers and, and waters and you stick it in the earth and whatever it cools down and space a very different environments. But there’s benefits it sounds like with using vacuums, is in some ways translates as long as you design it in the right way. Yeah. Interesting. Of course, when it comes to my mind is in any sci fi movie, which everything inspires us right to move forward. Most space sci fi movies, if there’s a problem with the core, they say ejected, and then they throw it out. Do you ever see a future of like, that’s gonna happen? Or sometimes you just reject the core? I mean, does that

Paolo Venneri 16:44
mean you probably could, you’d have some other problems afterwards? Because you still need power. But yeah, you could eject the car.

Alexander Ferguson 16:56
for you What? What do you see is kind of the the next steps, obviously, you’re you’re working with NASA and DARPA and, and being able to develop these is is the next stage four for commercial companies to start saying, Alright, now we’re going to build our own spacecrafts, our own plans, and then they would just start using your equipment asking you to build that that technology or helping them say like, what’s the next steps from here for you guys.

Paolo Venneri 17:21
So the number of things. One is, you know, the the government plays a very important role in all this in de risking the technology. That’s, that’s what one of the things that government is almost built for these days, is helping to develop the first systems develop key components, testing them. And they’re doing that right now with the NASA nuclear thermal propulsion program, as well as the surface vision power programs. And so there were being active players and applying for those and winning, winning these opportunities. Now, coupled with that, there’s also a lot of education on our part, which is educating people and companies that are interested in doing these intensive activities in space, that this is a very real capability that is coming online, and that they should start planning for them and designing their systems to be able to take full advantage of them. Now, this is all you know, keeping in mind as like, you know, you plan for these activities, and then we’ll be there for it. And so that’s how, you know, you educate your customers to then build capabilities that need what the product that you’re working on. And then you enable hole in space, economy and infrastructure that that goes from there.

Alexander Ferguson 18:26
That education piece. Whenever there’s a new technology comes along, there’s usually resistance, something new, not everyone loves change, that everyone loves being able to do a new technology because it’s I don’t know, unknown, there’s fear, Will it work? what’s what’s the upside versus downside versus I go with something known? How do you solve that challenge of getting people to adopt a new technology? Well,

Paolo Venneri 18:57
nuclear is actually kind of a an odd, an oddball when it comes to this. Because, you know, since the 60s, since you know, fairphone, brown start making plans for colonization of Mars, you know, as soon as he landed, they they’re able to land on the moon. They knew that in order to do everything they wanted to do in space, they needed nuclear technology. like they’ve been doing this since the 60s and 70s. And so it’s acknowledged that it’s a enabling capability. The problem is that this was back started back in the 60s and 70s. And it hasn’t happened yet. Right. And so there’s a lot of folks who have been, you know, they know about nuclear, they know what it can enable, but they don’t believe that can actually be done within the timelines and budgets of modern space programs. And so a lot of what we do is no one showing that we know what we’re doing. We have detailed plans and development timelines. And not only do we have these funds, but we’re also executing on them that we have miles songs that we’re hitting that we’re producing hardware that we are getting validation from these government programs. It’s a lot of trust building.

Alexander Ferguson 20:07
Hmm. It’s, it’s interesting, I appreciate you painting the picture. That’s like, okay, we all know it’s not technically new, but it’s lost its steam. It’s lost its energy, its focus of pluses energy, obviously, use that idiom. But people say really, I thought we’d maybe we should move on to something better something newer, because it’s old, bringing that focus back to say no, there actually this is a viable option, just looking at it in a new way. What do you see as as your your barriers to kind of overcome that? Is it just being able to draw back to the the core fundamentals of it?

Paolo Venneri 20:48
Well, it’s actually part of that is switching from an inherently weapons grade system to a commercial system, using this highest a low enriched uranium fuel that I think has changed the entire conversation when it comes to nuclear systems for space applications.

Alexander Ferguson 21:07
I feel like there there is a little bit you said, you said like a snowball effect happening more and more in Halo. If I heard heard correctly, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, they announced they’re gonna run on Halo as well. Is that correct? Yes.

Paolo Venneri 21:21
Basically, every new every nuclear system that is being developed right now, uses high Esalen rich uranium or low enriched uranium. All these even like the mobile reactor program that the D o T is doing right now. is using high sa low enriched uranium? Wow.

Alexander Ferguson 21:39
Is it important to get popular interest as well like like the general consumer, does it matter for them to know about this? Or is it just matters for the leaders of corporations and government?

Paolo Venneri 21:52
I think there’s actually a very strong Mo, it’s very important that the general public knows what we’re doing, and understands why we’re doing it and how we’re doing it. Nuclear has for good reasons, you know, garnered interest. Right now, if an accident happens, it affects all of us in one way or another. And so for the public to understand why it works, why it’s safe, that we’re doing our job, right, that we are conscious of our systems being ultra safe. It’s it’s very important, otherwise, it doesn’t fly.

Alexander Ferguson 22:28
Now, let’s actually just take a second to talk about that. Why is it safe? Like layman’s terms? Like, how can you say that nuclear is safe one, so many movies have told me that it’s not.

Paolo Venneri 22:41
So this is actually kind of ties into a little bit the philosophy of our parent company. I mean, I guess that at the very basic at the very fundamental step, the philosophy that ultra safe nuclear took is that no system that we develop, should be unsafe. Again, it’s the first thing that we do when we look at these new designs is that it has to be safe. Now, what does that mean? It means that if there’s any off nominal operation, if there is a variation in the controls inputs, somebody comes in and messes with it, that the reactor will respond inherently and not engage in what is called a a core meltdown. Now how do you do this, you essentially build in a bunch of inherent feedbacks into the system, where the reactor will achieve a temperature equilibrium that is below the failure temperature of the fuel. Right. And so in order to do this, we actually take some some performance reductions, all to make sure that nothing can happen to the reactor, that puts it in an unsafe condition. In addition to this, the nuclear fuel that we have designed and developed, is able to operate at temperatures that no other nuclear fuel has actually ever been able to do. There’s a it’s known as fully ceramic microencapsulated fuel. So we take the nuclear fuel of uranium, make little BBs out of it, then put multiple ceramic coatings on top of that. And this is known as a trisul fuel. This has been around since the 70s. And we then take this trisul fuel and put it inside of tank armor. So we take a whole bunch of these and put them inside of silicon carbide, which is, you know, stable up to 2500 degrees Celsius, something like that. Ridiculous temperatures, and then it sits in there and nothing’s ever gonna come out of that. Like it’s,

Alexander Ferguson 24:46
I think of an analogy that you take, okay, there’s a piece that matters the most, the rhenium Bubble bubble, wrap it in this other type of material, and then you put in dive inside of a tank and then nothing will happen.

Paolo Venneri 24:57
Yeah, that’s the gist of it. Yeah. Wow. Okay, and so that that is at the core of all of our reactors. And that’s how we can. And by making sure that everything we do in the design of the reactor keeps that high performance fuel within its limits. With multiple levels of, of margin, we’re able to have a accident tolerant ultra safe system.

Alexander Ferguson 25:23
And you mentioned you lose some of the power, potential power performance by doing some of this.

Paolo Venneri 25:28
Yes. But we think that it’s the value of taking that performance hit is infinitely worth it to have that guaranteed level of safety.

Alexander Ferguson 25:38
For sure, for sure. So looking at this future of how the moon and of course I follow all the NASA’s putting out the Artemis mission and like being able to get back to the moon, but a man back on the moon. What what what do you see is like the future that I what what, what do you pontificate the real the real reality of moon life will be like? What do I think the reality of moon life will be like? Like in the near future? Next, like 10 years, 510 years? What could we be expecting with being able to get people back on the moon? Have you read the book artemus? By the same guy who wrote the Martian? No, I have not.

Paolo Venneri 26:26
This is a it’s a it’s an excellent book, it was recommended to me by by a director of strategy over here that I should I should read this. It’s a that lays out, I think a very realistic picture of near term activities on the moon. I mean, the premise of it is, you know, the first real commercial market on the moon is resorts Disneyland on the moon. That’s the first market. And so in order to have that you have to have power, you have to have people. And then you have like, basically a local economy. They’re supporting Disneyland on the moon. So that’s how you have your first permanent human presence in space. It sounds like reading the book, it sounds like a pretty pretty, pretty good life. And then once you’re there, you figure out how to build things, or manufacture things on the moon that require these low g environments or near perfect vacuums. And then there you start building an economy out of that, and then it kind of snowballs out from there.

Alexander Ferguson 27:18
Sounds like a good roadmap game plan, take it out of a sci fi book, like every futuristic technology has been taken out of sight books, five books somewhere. They’ll inspire a lot. So then for you, would you go to the moon? Yes. No hesitation there. Yeah, definitely. And then what about Mars?

Paolo Venneri 27:42
You know, I would also go to Mars. I recently got married. So it’s becoming a little bit more complicated. But you know, I think I can still put on a Mars trip or do

Alexander Ferguson 27:51
I think I think you also have a fairly newborn as well.

Paolo Venneri 27:56
Yes. Being new married new kid. complicates the complicates the trip logistics.

Alexander Ferguson 28:02
Could you see a future though? Where your child will be working on the moon and maybe traveling to Mars?

Paolo Venneri 28:11
I definitely want him to have the option to do that. Yeah, we don’t want to make our kids do anything or choose a life for them. But I definitely wanted to have the option where it’s an easy one to make. Yes, yeah.

Alexander Ferguson 28:22
If you were to kind of just share for those out there that are fascinated, curious about, about space and about the what’s happening. And give us just a word of wisdom for where we’re headed. Is there anything that comes to your mind that you want to be able to share of where we’re headed with space,

Paolo Venneri 28:44
with space? So space is one of those interesting environments, where today, a lot of it is in what we call low Earth orbit. Right. And so that’s where a lot of the money has been going. If you look at you know, market projections, you know, the JP Morgan estimates know, trillion dollar markets in in space, a lot of that is connected to this low Earth orbit activities and telecommunications. And all of it is also caused by the reduction in cost to get into space. Now, if you look even at you know, 10 years ago, when SpaceX first started working on their Falcon nine rockets, none of that was there. And so in just 10 years, this entire sector has completely opened up. Because of these kind of tipping point changes in capabilities. Space is at the point where we’re getting into this Leo phase, which is an established market. The Tipping Point for the next phase of that going into cislunar space and beyond. It’s just around the corner. And so what we’re doing is a lot of us are doing is developing those technologies that enable that next tipping point. And if low Earth orbit is a trillion dollar market, you know, what are the estimates for cislunar space and beyond that

Alexander Ferguson 30:06
the opportunities are endless, endless for that. What do you see is maybe the next couple business opportunities that people should be paying attention, but to paying attention to then when it comes to space, because there’s a lot of tech entrepreneurs are listening to this podcast as well. And always looking for what is the next opportunity out there.

Paolo Venneri 30:29
So right now we have a lot of launchers to get into space. So we got smallsat launchers, we’ve got SpaceX, which is dominating launching of heavier systems that got Blue Origin developing earth surface to space applications. What is missing is, is a number of opportunities to go from Leo to other places. How do you get to the next place? A couple companies that are looking at that in space transportation services, but it’s definitely still still ripe.

Alexander Ferguson 31:03
It’s still still still wide open for for that. I appreciate this. This opportunity that that is right around the corner. Say we’re we’re right on this, this turning point this this cusp of of moving to for space opportunity going forward. Thank you for for sharing the journey that you’ve been on, and where you guys are headed for us and see, is there anything that we should keep an eye out for obviously, with the what you’re doing with NASA and DARPA are the big exciting things. But is there anything else that you’re really excited about that you’d want to be able to share is just overall, where everything is headed?

Paolo Venneri 31:42
Well, our parent company, USMC is going to have their first full power operation demonstration of a nuclear reactor on the ground and 2026 I believe. It’ll be the first advanced reactor built and operated in the North American continent. Since that,

Alexander Ferguson 32:00
wow, that is very exciting. I imagine there’s many steps that had to happen. And still happening for that.

Paolo Venneri 32:06
Oh, yeah. It takes a lot to even get to the point where you can say you’re going to have a demonstration licensing applications, talking with regulators a lot of community engagement, to be able to say that and have a timeline that you stick into is is pretty momentous.

Alexander Ferguson 32:21
Well I’m excited for that and for for you guys are headed. In many cases, your timelines are longer than a general tech company because of the regulations. But nonetheless, the progress is happening and I feel like that that’s the underlying what we’ve heard today for those that want to to learn more I guess then go to us and see.com and then be able to find both the terrestrial and space systems based one Yeah, I love the website where you can click the button and go up from Earth to space if you want to vary the directory did that go along there? But yes, usnc.com/space and be able to explore it. Thanks so much for sharing your time with us. This is awesome. And it was a pleasure. And we’ll see you all on the next episode of UpTech Report. Have you seen a company using AI and machine learning or other technology to transform the way we live, work and do business? Go to UpTech report.com. And let us know

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