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The agency’s Kilopower project meets several important criteria: It’s powerful enough to fuel habitats, life-support systems, and other equipment, yet remains small and lightweight.

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Credit: NASA Glenn Research Center NASA is testing a compact nuclear power system that could enable future human missions to the moon, Mars, or even deep space. The space agency is working with the US Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration to test a nuclear fission system to provide power to habitats for running life support equipment or for systems that...

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