The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced plans to launch a rocket equipped with a nuclear engine. She will go into flight in the second half of this decade.
What is known
The space agency says that the launch of the rocket will not threaten the inhabitants of the Earth. The nuclear power plant will be disabled during launch. It will start working only when the rocket moves to a safe distance from the surface of our planet.
NASA is partnering with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to implement the project. The launch of the rocket is scheduled for 2027. It will use a prototype engine with a thrust of approximately 10,000 tons. For comparison, 33 engines Raptor V3 in a Super Heavy rocket they will be able to create a thrust of less than 9,000 tons.
The last time a nuclear fission system was in space was in the spring of 1965. Then, within the framework of the SNAPSHOT program, the American experimental satellite SNAP-10A, equipped with a nuclear power plant, was launched.