To prepare for the Mars mission, NASA cooperated with the Pentagon’s DARPA research agency to build nuclear-powered rockets.
In a Jan. 24 statement, NASA Director General Bill Nelson said that with the help of this new rocket, astronauts could travel to and from deep space faster than ever before, an important possibility for prepare for landing missions on Mars.
Nuclear-powered rocket simulation.
Simulate a rocket using nuclear propulsion. (Photo: DARPA).
According to the agreement between NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the development and demonstration of advanced nuclear thermal propulsion technology will take place as early as 2027.
“NASA has a long history of collaboration with DARPA. Expanding the partnership to include nuclear propulsion will help advance the goal of sending humans to the Red Planet.”emphasized NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy.
In nuclear heat engines, fission reactors are used to create extremely high temperatures. Heat from the reactor is then transferred to liquid fuel, which is converted to gas, expands through a nozzle and provides thrust to the rocket.
NASA said thermonuclear missile could be three times or more efficient than conventional chemical propulsion and would help reduce transit times.
The U.S. Aerospace Agency last tested thermonuclear rocket engines more than 50 years ago, but the program was canceled due to budget cuts and Cold War tensions.
Sending humans to Mars is one of the main goals not only of NASA but also of private space companies. NASA wants to take advantage of the lessons learned from the Artemis Moon program to establish a human presence on the Red Planet. Meanwhile, Elon Musk’s SpaceX is also set to test the first orbital flight of Starship, the vehicle the company plans to eventually send humans to Mars.
Article source: VnExpress
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To prepare for the Mars mission, NASA cooperated with the Pentagon’s DARPA research agency to successfully create a nuclear-powered rocket….