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Plasma Rocket Could Travel to Mars in 39 Days

5 May 2010, 03:32 UTC
Plasma Rocket Could Travel to Mars in 39 Days
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Equipped with an electric propulsion system, the rocket, known as
Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR), is being
developed to one day transport astronauts to Mars in 39 to 45 days — a
fraction of the six to nine months the trip would take with
conventional chemical rockets!Setting sail for an asteroid would be a powerful demonstration of
VASIMR technology, which uses radio waves to ionize propellant — such
as argon, xenon or hydrogen — and heat the resulting plasma to
temperatures 20 times hotter than the surface of the sun. In place of
metal nozzles to control the direction of the exhaust, VASIMR uses
magnetic fields.Physicist Franklin Chang Diaz's Houston-based Ad Astra Rocket Co., which has raised
millions of dollars from private investors, reached a significant
milestone last year when it successfully operated a demonstrator VASIMR
at full power in a vacuum chamber.To learn more click the Title of this post above "Plasma Rocket Could Travel to Mars in 39 Days"

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