The nuclear rocket ``X-NTRV'' will be launched in 2027, NASA and DARPA will cooperate to develop it, and the US Space Force will provide the launch facility

NASA and the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are promoting a nuclear rocket engine (nuclear thermal rocket engine) development project ' Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO) '. Newly, it became clear that aerospace company Lockheed Martin will undertake the design and testing of nuclear rocket engines. In addition, NASA and DARPA have announced plans to launch a test machine `` X-NTRV '' equipped with a nuclear rocket engine in 2027.

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While research institutes and companies around the world are advancing space development, discussions are becoming active regarding the security and means of transportation of goods in the space 'Sisluna' that extends between the earth and the moon. DARPA is developing a nuclear rocket engine in anticipation of activities in Cisluna, and in January 2023 announced the DRACO project to develop a nuclear rocket engine jointly with NASA.

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NASA and DARPA have newly named space company Lockheed Martin as the primary contractor for the design and testing of nuclear rocket engines. “Lockheed Martin has a long history and expertise in developing nuclear technology,” said Lockheed Martin. And it will be possible to do it at high speed, ”he said, appealing confidence in the success of the project.

In the DRACO project, a test machine 'X-NTRV' equipped with a nuclear rocket engine is scheduled to be launched in 2027. In addition, the US Space Force has decided to cooperate with the launch of X-NTRV.

According to NASA, the nuclear rocket engine 'can achieve more than double the fuel efficiency compared to conventional chemical rocket engines', 'By improving the fuel efficiency, less fuel can be installed, and experimental equipment can be used in the empty space. There are many advantages such as being able to pack more, `` shortening the navigation time and reducing the burden on astronauts '', and `` increasing the power that can be supplied to equipment compared to chemical rocket engines ''. NASA Deputy Secretary Pamela Melroy said, ``By working with DARPA and space development companies, we can accelerate the development of the technology necessary to send humans to Mars,'' saying that the DRACO project is not only for Sisluna security. It emphasizes that it has great significance for the realization of Mars travel.

in Science, Posted by log1o_hf