We need electricity everyday.

Including when exploring space, and even Mars. That's why when selecting a new, reliable power source, NASA Glenn Research Center decided to go with nuclear.

This is Kilopower, an experimental prototype reactor that could power the next stage of space exploration.

It's estimated that one of these compact power plants can produce one to 10 kilowatts of electrical power.

In comparison, 5 Kilowatts is enough to power a small house.

Past unmanned Mars missions used power technology that only produced a couple hundred watts.

"A human mission to Mars is likely to require on the order of 40 to 50 kilowatts. You can image the big leap needed in technology," says Lee Manson from the NASA Glenn Research Center.

With that power, astronauts could energize habitats, operate rovers and transform Mars' resources into oxygen, water and fuel.

Kilopower was built and tested here in Cleveland, with additional testing continuing in Nevada.