Gryphon Technologies has been awarded a $14 million task order by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to support the development and demonstration of a High-Assay Low Enriched Uranium (HALEU) Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) system.
Gryphon, a provider of digital engineering, cyber, cloud solutions, predictive analytics, and technical solutions and services to national security organisations, will support the Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO) programme.
The new rocket will enable the US military to operate spacecraft in cislunar space, which is the region outside Earth's atmosphere and extending out to just beyond the Moon's orbit.
"A successfully demonstrated NTP system will provide a leap-ahead in space propulsion capability, allowing agile and rapid transit over vast distances as compared to present propulsion approaches," said Dr Tabitha Dodson, Gryphon's chief engineer on the support team and a national expert in NTP systems.
"Gryphon is committed to providing high-end technical solutions to our nation's most critical national security challenges," said PJ Braden, CEO of Gryphon. "We are proud to support DRACO and the development and demonstration of NTP, a significant technological advancement in efforts to achieve cislunar space awareness."