The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) plans to develop a spacecraft engine powered by nuclear fission by 2027, for future manned missions to send astronauts to the red planet (Mars).
NASA said in a statement that it has been planning for decades to develop advanced nuclear thermal propulsion technology, as it is more efficient than conventional chemical propulsion, indicating that this technology will allow astronauts to send them beyond the moon and deeper into space.
A trip to Mars from Earth using the technology could take roughly four months instead of some nine months with a conventional, chemically powered engine, engineers say.
The nuclear thermal propulsion technology chosen earlier uses a special nuclear reactor to generate extreme temperatures.