According to the British newspaper “Daily Mail”, the reduction in flight times means that the astronauts on board the spacecraft will be exposed to less radiation during the flight, which makes future trips to Mars or other planets safer.
NASA previously described nuclear propulsion as a “game-changing technology for deep space exploration,” as it involves directing the release of energy into splitting an atom to accelerate fuel at a tremendous speed.
The British Space Agency predicts that this type of engine could be twice as efficient as the chemical engines currently used to power rockets, cutting flight times in half.
Dr Graham Turnock, Chief Executive of the British Space Agency, said: “Nuclear energy and propulsion in space is a game-changing concept that could unleash future deep space missions that take us to Mars and beyond.
This study will help to understand the exciting potential of spacecraft powered by atomic energy, and whether this emerging technology can help us travel farther and faster distances through space than ever before.
And a nuclear-powered engine could make trips to deep space safer for astronauts, as flight times were halved, the astronauts would be exposed to a lower dose of radiation, which could protect them from radiation diseases and cancer.
And NASA explained, “Space radiation may expose astronauts to a great risk of developing radiation disease, and increase the risk of cancer for life, the effects of the central nervous system, and degenerative diseases.”