Jeff Bezos & Nuclear Powered Spacecrafts
Bezos' Blue Origin Wins DARPA/Pentagon Contract for Nuclear Spacecraft
Source: DARPA Nuclear Powered Spacecraft
Nuclear Powered Trips to Space
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' aerospace company Blue Origin has won a US Department of Defense contract to design a nuclear powered spacecraft. The $2.5 million contract was awarded by the Pentagon's DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) as part of its DRACO program (Designated Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations). Lockheed Martin and General Atomics were awarded similar contracts for the DRACO program.
Nuclear Thermal Propulsion
The DARPA program is focused on developing and testing nuclear thermal propulsion technology to power space travel. The technology utilizes a small nuclear reactor inside the rocket to heat up the liquid fuel and propel the spacecraft beyond low Earth orbit into deep space. DARPA believes that the nuclear technology could combine the benefits of currently used, powerful chemical based and highly efficient electric based propulsion systems. The concept phase of the DRACO program will last 18 months. DARPA wants a nuclear powered spacecraft in orbit by 2025. Blue Origin has been awarded three NASA contracts for missions and launches since 2020.
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