NASA signed a deal last week that awards a contract to Lockheed Martin to design, build and test a nuclear-thermal propulsion (NTP) rocket designed to make space travel significantly faster.  The technology offers the promise of getting astronauts to Mars twice as fast as it does now.  Astute Leadership Matrix readers will know about Nuclear-Thermal Propulsion from the Fast Ferry to Mars post earlier this year.

The contract signing is a big step forward for this technology!  This project is a cornerstone component for NASAs goal to go back to the moon– leading to manned missions to Mars by the 2030s.

The program, dubbed the Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO), will use less-enriched uranium versus the weapons grade uranium used in previous research projects from the 1950’s and 1960’s.  A quick aside, Cislunar is the area between the Earth and the moon or the moon’s orbit.  This promising technology will usher in a whole new line of rocket propulsion systems to help in the exploration of space.  A test flight of the new technology is expected in less than four years (late 2026 or early 2027).

I’ve included the press release from NASA below- let me know what you think about these space travel developments by clicking to reach me here!

~ Brian Kasal- The Leadership Matrix

Click here- NASA Press Release: Thermal Nuclear Propulsion

P.S.- Did you see my last Leadership Matrix post? Coming Soon to an Airport Near You… Lounge Wars!

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