(ORDO NEWS) — Nuclear engines will make it possible to dominate not only in near-earth space, but also in the circumlunar space, as well as in the entire solar system.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has just transferred orderworth $ 14 million from Gryphon Technologies. The money will go to support the Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO) program, whose main goal is to create a nuclear rocket engine.
Such systems use fission reactors that heat, for example, hydrogen to extreme temperatures and then expel gas through nozzles, thereby creating thrust.
This technology features a thrust-to-mass ratio (about 10,000 times that of electric propulsion) and a specific impulse (fuel efficiency) that is two to five times that of traditional rocket engines.
Not only the US military but also NASA are betting on nuclear engines, where they believe that a nuclear-powered spacecraft can take astronauts to Mars in just three to four months – about twice as fast as a rocket with chemical engines.
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