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NASA Looks At Reviving Atomic Rocket Program

When the first manned mission to Mars sets out, it may be on the tail of an atomic rocket engine. The Space Race vintage technology could have a renaissance at NASA after the space agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama signed a contract with BWXT Nuclear Energy to develop updated Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) concepts and new fuel elements to power them.

The Apollo missions to the Moon demonstrated many things. They showcased human ingenuity, determination, and courage. They proved what American engineering and industry could accomplish in short order when let loose on a goal and demonstrated that humankind need no longer be confined to a single planet.

A new engine being developed for NASA will use low-enriched uranium Cermet fuel rods