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U.S. to test nuclear-powered spacecraft by 2027 By Reuters

U.S. to test nuclear-powered spacecraft by 2027

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The NASA logo is seen at Kennedy Space Center ahead of the NASA/SpaceX launch of a commercial crew mission to the International Space Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., April 16, 2021. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States plans to test a spacecraft engine powered by nuclear fission by 2027 as part of a long-term NASA effort to demonstrate more efficient methods of propelling astronauts to Mars in the future, the space agency’s chief said Tuesday.

NASA will partner with the U.S. military’s research and development agency, DARPA, to develop a nuclear thermal propulsion engine and launch it to space “as soon as 2027,” NASA administrator Bill Nelson said during a conference in National Harbor, Maryland.

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