The US National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced yesterday that they will begin testing a “nuclear thermal rocket engine” for future manned missions to Mars. It was stated that the aim was to accelerate human travel to the depths of space.
US to begin nuclear rocket engine tests for manned MARS journey
NASA and the USA Department of Defense, announced that they plan to develop “advanced nuclear thermal propulsion technology” within the scope of the program they call DRACO for short, and that astronauts are planning to travel to the depths of space faster than ever before. It was emphasized that this was a preparation for crewed flights to Mars. It was also stated that the nuclear thermal rocket engine is planned to be tested in space by 2027.
“Using a nuclear thermal rocket provides faster transit time and reduces risk to astronauts,” NASA Said In A Statement On The Program. “Reducing transit time is an important component for manned missions to Mars , as longer journeys require more materials and more robust systems .”
NUCLEAR THERMAL ROCKET ENGINE
It was stated that the nuclear thermal rocket engine uses a fission reactor to produce extremely high temperatures, while the engine will use the heat produced by the reactor for propulsion that will bring the spacecraft to high speed. Nuclear thermal rockets could be three or more times efficient than conventional chemical propellants.