• Sat. May 15th, 2021

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The US plans to put a nuclear-powered rocket in orbit by 2025

A rocket in space

Nuclear thermal rockets could be more manoeuvrable in space

DARPA

The US is taking steps to put a nuclear-powered rocket in orbit by 2025, paving the way for navigation in space to become much easier.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) plans to turn the long-studied concept of a nuclear thermal rocket into a reality. The technology isn’t powerful enough to launch a rocket from Earth, but could give a spacecraft propulsion for an extended period once in space. This would make it ideal for prolonged manoeuvring in orbit or in deep-space missions requiring acceleration and deceleration.

“In the …