Space agency NASA and the Pentagon reached an agreement on Tuesday about plans for a nuclear-powered rocket. That rocket would eventually be destined to take humans to Mars, both American institutions have announced.
Bill Nelson, the head of NASA, said the organization is working with US military research group Darpa to “develop and test advanced nuclear thermal propulsion technology as early as 2027.”
“Using this technology, astronauts will be able to travel to and from space faster than ever before,” which is necessary to conduct manned missions to Mars, he said in a statement.
According to NASA, a rocket powered by nuclear thermal propulsion could be three to four times more efficient than conventionally propelled rockets, reducing travel time.