NASA wants to go to Mars on a nuclear powered rocket

NASA Committed to obtaining humanity All the way to the red planetand believes the best way to do that is with a nuclear-powered missile.

In this way, I have a new answer to what I want Paint on the side of the 1970s transportation car.

It seems Walk around the surface of Mars just not good enough; We have to spend some time with the little red man. NASA announced that it will work with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in January to develop a nuclear-thrust missile that travels three times faster than conventional liquid-fuel missiles.

NBC News Check out the project to find out how NASA And DARPA’s plan to use nuclear energy to propel these missiles:

The program was called DRACO, which stands for Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations.

The system uses high heat from a fission reactor to convert liquid fuel into gas, which is then funneled through a nozzle to power the spacecraft.

This type of propellant can create more thrust and is at least three times as efficient as chemical rockets, According to NASA. That means less fuel needs to be carried on board, freeing up space to transport more equipment, science experiments, or other cargo to the surface of Mars.

“It can completely change the game of how people think about what’s possible in space — what you can carry, how fast you can get there,” said Stephanie Tompkins, director of DARPA. “You have more flexibility to get where you want, when you want.”

The scientist continues to describe the technology as safe because it will use low-enriched uranium instead of weapons-grade highly enriched uranium. Which… sure. Why not. Low-enriched uranium is what goes into nuclear reactors and none of those have it Ever dangerous to human healthright?

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Using this type of rocket would reduce travel time to the Red Planet from eight months to just two and a half months, exposing astronauts to much less risk and cosmic radiation. It would also give them more time to focus on boot-type work on Mars, and allow astronauts to bring more stuff with them because they wouldn’t have to haul a ton of fuel.

European Space Agency It is also betting on nuclear energy to power its ambitions for deep space research. Nuclear power isn’t our only option for traveling deep into the solar system; NASA also manipulates it Rotary detonation rocket engineor RDRE.

A spinning detonation rocket engine test at Marshall Space Flight Center

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