LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) -- White House and NASA officials toured BWX Technologies in Lynchburg Wednesday.
The facility has been working to develop a new nuclear thermal propulsion system for NASA to help advance space exploration.
Officials say the capabilities at BWXT will help put man back on the moon and begin the exploration of Mars.
"When we plant that American flag on Mars, it is very likely that that mission is going to go through Lynchburg Virginia because of BWXT," said Jim Bridenstine, the Administrator of NASA. "Now, when we talk about what it takes to get to Mars, we're talking nuclear propulsion," he said.
Bridenstine said the faster astronauts can travel to Mars, the better, because it decreases exposure to radiation.
Copyright 2020 WDBJ7. All rights reserved.