After 60 Years, Nuclear Power for Spaceflight is Still Tried and True
Six decades after the launch of the first nuclear-powered space mission, Transit IV-A, NASA is embarking on a bold future of human exploration and scientific discovery.
“Nuclear power has opened the solar system to exploration, allowing us to observe and understand dark, distant planetary bodies that would otherwise be unreachable. And we’re just getting started,” said Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. “Future nuclear power and propulsion systems will help revolutionize our understanding of the solar system and beyond and play a crucial role in enabling long-term human missions to the Moon and Mars.”