|July 26, 2023 |
MEDIA ADVISORY M23-093
NASA, DARPA Experts to Discuss Nuclear Rocket Program Developments
Experts from NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will hold a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EDT Wednesday, July 26, to discuss the latest developments in the Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO) program. Audio of the teleconference will stream live on NASA's website.
The media teleconference follows DARPA’s announcement that design and fabrication of the DRACO nuclear-powered rocket will begin under a new agreement between DARPA and Lockheed Martin. BWX Technologies also will play a role in the program by creating the nuclear fission reactor that will power the rocket engine.
Nuclear propulsion is a key capability on NASA's roadmap to send astronauts to Mars. A nuclear-powered rocket would enable faster trips to the Red Planet, making missions less complex and safer for crew. This type of engine requires significantly less propellant than chemical rockets, so missions would be able to carry additional scientific equipment.
Participants in the teleconference include:
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