Advanced Propulsion Comes Of Age

NASA is known worldwide for routinely putting people into Earth orbit. The agency is also revered as the only organization that has flung humans at escape velocity speeds to the Moon. However, NASA could also be known as an agency that’s going nowhere fast. Even NASA’s new chief, Sean O’Keefe, is keen about the need for speed. The agency is stuck in slow gear, he gripes, scooting about in spacecraft today at velocities not much greater than when John Glenn first sped into Earth orbit over 40 years ago. To help put some “momentum” into NASA, the agency is pushing forward on a nuclear propulsion and power initiative.