Magnetoplasmic Rockets to Mars…?

5 03 2010


Obama’s new potential budgetary influx to NASA has re-opened avenues of research.  One of them is the VASIMR (Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket) technology, a privately-funded resurrection of plasma rocket prototypes from the late ’90s that could trim travel time to Mars down to just more than a month

The problem is power.

In order to reach those kinds of travel times, a power source nearly 1,000 times more powerful than what is currently available on-orbit is required.  It looks like our next breakthrough will need to involve orbital power generation.

Something to think about…



One response

8 02 2011
Nuclear Ed

Nuclear is the only sustainable way, but even with high temperature operation exceeding 40% efficiency, 60% will go into waste heat to radiate. Just if there’s a material that will convert waste heat to electricity and weights feather light and has a high efficiency… Oh future…

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