This is what the rocket could look like: Nuclear-thermal propulsion technology could be used for future manned missions to Mars
The US space agency Nasa plans to work with the US Department of Defense to develop nuclear-powered Mars missiles.
By around 2027, such a rocket should be designed and tested together with a development department of the ministry, NASA announced on Tuesday.
It could then possibly be used for future manned missions to Mars and would significantly reduce flight time, it said.
Reducing transit time is a key component of manned missions to Mars, Nasa says, as longer voyages require more supplies and more robust systems.
This technology, which has also been tested before, uses a special nuclear reactor to generate extremely high temperatures, which are then fed into a fuel.
The technology also means that thermal nuclear missiles could be as efficient as conventional chemical propulsion systems in many ways.