Elon Musk wants to travel to Mars using SpaceX’s planned monolithic rocket booster, the Big Falcon Rocket. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Vladimir Putin is planning on getting to the Red Plant with a nuclear-powered spaceship that looks like something out of James Cameron’s Avatar.

The Russian-state sponsored space agency, Roscosmos, unveiled plans to build a spacecraft that would be powered by an onboard nuclear reactor and fly using nuclear thermal engines. This proposed vessel has been touted with the ability to sustain a crew in space without the need of harnessing solar energy, which has often been posed as a possible solution for interstellar travel. Dan Kotlyar, an assistant professor of nuclear radiological engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology tells Inverse that nuclear-powered engines could bring about a new era of solar system exploration.

Read More… Video Depicts the Audacious Nuclear Spaceship Russia Wants to Fly to Mars

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