Jul 30, 2023

NASA is planning to use nuclear power for the first human trip to Mars

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, space travel

The space race has been revived, but this time, the goal post has been shifted much further – to Mars. As recent technological advancements promise to open new horizons of exploration, NASA plans to cut the travel time to Mars with a nuclear-powered spacecraft.

A trip to Mars currently takes approximately seven months, covering a staggering 300-million-mile journey. NASA, in collaboration with the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), now proposes an ambitious plan that hinges on the promise of nuclear thermal propulsion technology to reduce this duration significantly.

NASA aims to launch a nuclear-powered spacecraft, known as DRACO (Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations), into Earth’s orbit either by late 2025 or early 2026. The spacecraft, under construction by Lockheed Martin, a leading aerospace and defense company, will serve as a testbed for this groundbreaking technology.

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