S95-01414 (February 1995) --- (Artist's concept of possible exploration programs.) A nuclear thermal rocket fires upon arrival in the vicinity of Mars to insert the transfer vehicle into orbit. Nuclear propulsion can shorten interplanetary trip times and can reduce the mass launched from Earth. As the primary transfer propulsion system, the spaecraft's reactor would remain inactive until departure from Earth orbit. This artwork was done for NASA by Pat Rawlings, of SAIC.