Revolutionary Propulsion System can get Astronauts to Mars in 39 Days
According to reports, a company from Texas has been chosen by NASA to develop a ground-breaking engine that could send Humans to Mars in less than 40 days. Ad Astra’s Vasimr engine is seemingly able of get a spacecraft to Mars in 39 days. This project is just one of the twelve projects presently funded by NASA. Among the revolutionary propulsion system, there are other technologies at present in development; among them are improved habits for humans and smaller satellites that could search space more proficiently.
Remember, there is a long way to go here since Ad Astra’s Vasimr engine is just one part of the complete spacecraft that could ultimately take astronauts to Mars. Researchers still require to figure out the type of spacecraft astronauts would travel in.
The revolutionary engine uses plasma as a propellant and is developed by Texas based company Ad Astra. The engine hit the headlines a couple of years ago when sources showed that this groundbreaking engine could decrease the trip to Mars from months to weeks. The only downside if there is one is that the engine needs a Nuclear power source.
In 2013, the company finished the testing of the first prototype.
Vasimr is short for Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket.
‘We are thrilled by this declaration and proud to be joining forces with NASA in the final phases of the technology maturation,’ said Dr Franklin Chang Diaz, Ad Astra’s Chairman and CEO, in a statement.
‘We look forward to a very fruitful partnership as we together advance the technology to flight readiness.’
This is just one of the many technologies presently in development that will let NASA to explore and colonize space in a much more efficient manner. ‘Commercial partners were chosen for their technical capability of maturing key technologies and their commitment to the potential applications both for government and private sector uses,’ said William Gerstenmaier, assistant administrator for Human Exploration and Operations at NASA Headquarters.
‘This work eventually will inform the strategy to move human existence further into the solar system.’
According to Diaz, “this is like no other rocket that you may have seen in the past. It is a plasma rocket. The VASIMR Rocket is not used for launching things; it is used for things already in orbit. This is called “in-space propulsion.”
VASIMR heats plasma, an electrically charged gas, to exceptionally high temperatures using radio waves. The system then offers thrust by funneling the hot plasma out of the back of the engine. According to Diaz, VASIMR will save thousands of gallons of rocket fuel and tens of millions of dollars a year.
In the following video, Diaz explains in great detail the origins of space travel and why the magnetoplasma rocket technology will transform space travel and exploration.