The impressive characteristics of the NERVA are payload and length of operation. It only takes about two minutes to get out of the atmosphere, NERVA was tested for hours. About a decade ago, I was told that kind of burn time makes a Mars mission lasting only a few days feasible. The missions planned in the article sound reasonable. If you want to get from one place to another quickly, you have to use the best source of power available.
What's also interesting is that they puked one of these engines by running it dry. That says good things for safety and we might expect as much. It takes tons of reactor to make a Chernobyl sized mess, I don't think you have that kind of problem with this one. There might be problems, depending on the fuel used, if one burns on reentry.