Fission technology can enable rapid, affordable access to any point in the solar system. If fission propulsion systems are to be developed to their full potential; however, near-term customers must be identified and initial fission systems successfully developed, launched, and utilized. Successful utilization will simultaneously develop the infrastructure and experience necessary for developing even higher power and performance systems. To be successful, development programs must devise strategies for rapidly converting paper reactor concepts into actual flight hardware. One approach to accomplishing this is to design highly testable systems, and to structure the program to contain frequent, significant hardware milestones. This paper discusses ongoing efforts in Russia and the United States aimed at enabling near-term utilization of space fission systems.