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News, features & press releases

Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage

The Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage project is part of the Advanced Exploration Systems program, which is managed by NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate and includes participation by the U.S. Department of Energy. The program, which focuses on crew safety and mission operations in deep space, seeks to pioneer new approaches for rapidly developing prototype systems, demonstrating key capabilities and validating operational concepts for future vehicle development and human missions beyond Earth orbit.

Marshall researchers are partnering on the project with NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio; NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston; Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls; Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M.; and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

The Marshall Center leads development of the Space Launch System for NASA. The Science & Technology Office at Marshall strives to apply advanced concepts and capabilities to the research, development and management of a broad spectrum of NASA programs, projects and activities that fall at the very intersection of science and exploration, where every discovery and achievement furthers scientific knowledge and understanding, and supports the agency’s ambitious mission to expand humanity’s reach across the solar system. The NTREES test facility is just one of numerous cutting-edge space propulsion and science research facilities housed in the state-of-the-art Propulsion Research & Development Laboratory at Marshall, contributing to development of the Space Launch System and a variety of other NASA programs and missions.