Nuclear rockets will be tested to take humans to Mars; understand

posted on 25/01/2023 16:58


(credit: DARPA)

The United States Space Agency (NASA) and the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced this Tuesday (1/24) that they will team up to test nuclear-powered rockets with the aim of facilitating the transporting astronauts to Mars.

The idea is that they develop the technologies so that by 2027 demonstrations of the project are carried out, which would facilitate the transit time of rockets — making them faster — and reducing the risks for astronauts.


“With the help of this new technology, astronauts will be able to travel to deep space faster than ever before – an important capability to prepare for manned missions to Mars,” explains Bill Nelson, NASA administrator.

It is worth remembering that the last nuclear thermal rocket engine tests conducted by the US took place over 50 years ago under NASA’s Nuclear Engine for Rocket and Rover Applications projects.

“Recent aerospace materials and engineering advances are enabling a new era for nuclear space technology, and this flight demonstration will be a major achievement in establishing a space transportation capability for an Earth-Moon economy,” said Jim Reuter, associate administrator. Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) from NASA.

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