NASA and DARPA will test nuclear thermal engines for crewed missions to Mars
NASA and DARPA’s Rocket Science
Ah, NASA and DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) have certainly gone from strength to strength… and this time with a plan to Test Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Engines for Crewed Missions to Mars!
This incredible advancement in space travel is part of a push to make missions to Mars a reality for us mere mortals, who don’t just dream of visiting other galaxies and taking photos of planets from up close.
The hope is that the engine will reduce the time taken from 6 months to just 3 months, thus reducing the amount of necessary provisions and ensuring the safety of astronauts during the extended mission to our red neighbour.
What this means for us
Apart from shorter, more doable missions to the Red planet, Nuclear Thermal Propulsion gives us the opportunity to explore more distant planets and galaxies as we become more confident and well equipped.
Here’s a list of potential benefits:
- More efficient travel: nuclear thermal propulsion can provide more thrust than traditional chemical propulsion rockets make space travel orders of magnitude faster.
- Cost effective: with each successful mission the technologies and the propulsion engine can become more advanced and production costs can lower thus creating a loop of success.
- A new hope: apart from human experiential knowledge, exploration and space missions expand our horizons and allows us to uncover the mysteries of the universe.
Any effort from any international body to further space exploration should be welcomed and applauded, so here’s a great big ‘Yippee’ for NASA and DARPA for bringing us another step closer to making this a reality.