For The First Time Pentagon announces to launch New Nuclear Thermal Rocket!


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For The First Time Pentagon announces to launch New Nuclear Thermal Rocket!

The Pentagon Wants to Launch a Nuclear Thermal Rocket in 4 Years As humanity closes in on the inevitability of leaving footprints on Mars, questions remain about the best way to get there — and how to travel further into the unknown. In the 1965 edition of the World Book Encyclopedia, it was promised that the United States would land astronauts on Mars by 1986 using thermo-nuclear rockets. Sadly, we’re not quite there yet. Yet, nuclear power for space-bound rockets wasn’t science fiction even in the ‘60s. 60 years later, multiple programs are rediscovering this promising technology. In fact, the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) had just announced that they want to build the Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO): the world’s first NTP system for spacecraft. But how exactly would they bring this project to fruition? Let’s find out in today’s episode: Welcome back to SpaceX Fans, don’t forget to hit subscribe and turn on the notification feature to make sure that you won’t miss any interesting information about Elon Musk, SpaceX, or anything related to Space. Now let’s get back to today’s content.

The Pentagon wants to extend the reach of its satellites tens of thousands miles toward the moon. And it’s working on a high-tech, atomic-powered “nuclear thermal propulsion” engine to make it possible, with an on-orbit demonstration coming in 2025.

The military’s goal is to deploy maneuverable satellites into the vast space between the Earth and the moon, also known as “cislunar” space—before China gets there with its own spacecraft. Cislunar, covers a much more expansive area than the simple Earth orbits followed by satellites. Most man-made satellites orbit no more than a few thousand miles from Earth’s surface. The United States and China are both in a scramble to fill that gap. A cislunar spacecraft would need powerful and efficient engines that maximize the ship’s fuel-carrying capacity.

Enter NTP, which works by pushing a liquid propellant like hydrogen through a working nuclear reactor core. As the reactor splits the atoms of the uranium fuel, it generates heat. The heat then transforms the hydrogen into a gas that squirts out of the rocket exhaust nozzle at high pressure, creating thrust, pushing the satellite in the opposite direction. Nuclear-thermal engines aren’t for launching from Earth’s surface. Atomic rockets could support America’s new moon push.

Actually, this idea was proposed for NASA by Elon Musk in 2019. Nuclear thermal rockets would be “a great area of research » Elon Musk declared. But he also explained: « good for in-space transit, but not recommended for Earth to orbit!”


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