The Department of Defense (DARPA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are testing a nuclear-powered engine that will allow a spacecraft to reach Mars in just four months in 2027, MTI reports based on the NASA announcement.
According to the plans, the nuclear engine will use a smaller nuclear reactor to propel the spacecraft, much more efficiently than rocket engines that use conventional fuel.
The Office of Space Research has been researching the possibilities of nuclear propulsion for decades. The goal of the project, which was established within the framework of cooperation with the Ministry of Defense, is to operate the developed nuclear propulsion engine in 2027 at the latest, so spaceships carrying people will be able to reach regions beyond the moon, he said. Bill NelsonNASA Administrator.
With the help of nuclear propulsion, if all goes well, the space shuttle crew could reach Mars in less than four months. All of this would currently take nine months with a spacecraft powered by conventional fuel. Thus, the trip to Mars will be much easier and safer, since astronauts will be exposed to cosmic radiation for a much shorter period of time and will also have to carry less cargo and food.
Engine development costs in 2023 are already $110 million (39.4 billion forints), but are expected to reach several hundred million dollars by the planned supply of 2027.
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