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…