The US DARPA will seek to achieve the first thermonuclear spaceflight

The US DARPA will seek to achieve the first thermonuclear spaceflight

Over time, spaceflight has gained more popularity, due to the interest of companies such as SpaceX to one day allow it to be available to ordinary people.

So too, space agencies are scrambling to find new ways to shorten the travel time of spacecraft and rockets that will be used for upcoming missions.

In this sense, DARPA through its DRACO program (Demonstration rocket for agile operation over the moons) Launch a project that seeks to demonstrate its ability to implement a Thermonuclear propulsion system (NTP) to propel a spacecraft into low Earth orbit with the goal of making it a reality by 2025.

This agency is owned by the US Pentagon announce The support it received from three major contractors for the implementation of this project: General Atomics, Blue Origin and Lockheed Martin.

If successful, this DARPA mission will be the first to build a ship Technology capable of half Travel time through the solar system.

Until now, electrical and chemical space propulsion systems have limitations in their operation, leaving spacecraft and rockets unable to reach the speed needed to travel to the ends of the universe.

However, thanks to the thermonuclear propulsion proposed by the DRACO program, this situation could change favorably. This is due to the potential offered by this system for obtaining a noticeable increase in the indicators of motive weight, making it 10 thousand times greater than electric propulsion.

Similarly, NTP can positively affect the specific efficiency of the propellant, exceeding up to five times for chemical propulsion.

In addition, the thermonuclear propulsion system implemented by DARPA will use a Hydrogen propellant heated by a nuclear fission reactor, thus generating twice the power of today’s most advanced liquid-powered rocket engine.

Although this program focuses its work on a journey made between earth and moon, the participating members hope that they will be able to take advantage of and use the capabilities of NTP to achieve this Travel to Mars and beyond.

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