HOUSTON—As part of NASA’s 2020 budget proposal, the agency is hoping for a flight demonstration of a new 1- to 3-kW fission nuclear power source, called Kilopower, on the lunar surface in about 2026. It is a key element of a forward-looking strategy to cement a permanent human presence on the Moon and prepare for the human exploration of Mars. One of the project’s architects, Patrick McClure of the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory, offered a ...

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