Space Travel

February/19/2016 9:09AM
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This is from an article by Ed Mazza, of the Huffpost Science.

”  a new type of rocket that could send humans to Mars in less than six weeks instead of six months or longer may be one step closer to reality.

NASA has selected Texas-based Ad Astra Rocket Company for a round of funding to help develop the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket, or VASIMR. The new rocket uses plasma and magnets, not to lift spacecraft into orbit but to propel them further and faster once they’ve escaped the planet’s atmosphere.

“It is a rocket like no other rocket that you might have seen in the past. It is a plasma rocket,” Dr. Franklin Chang-Díaz, a former shuttle astronaut and CEO of Ad Astra said in a video describing the rocket. “The VASIMR engine is not used for launching things into space or landing them back but rather it is used for things already there. We call this ‘in-space propulsion.'”

While missions near Earth would be able to use solar energy to power the rocket, a mission to Mars would require something far more powerful — most likely nuclear power, which the company has called “an ideal power source in space.”

In ideal conditions, the rocket could propel a spacecraft to Mars in just 39 days.

So far, a non-nuclear prototype has been able to fire for less than a minute at a time:”vasimr


Thanks, Ed.

For me, this article drives home the point that we have begun to pull back from progress in space travel. We raced with the Soviet’s for space supremacy, won, then quit when the Soviet’s went broke. No competition, no incentive. ,


In the past 50 years of space exploration we have not progressed much beyond the initial man on the moon mission. In the next 20 we can only hope the momentum picks up and the funding happens from the private sector and the progress happens.

The US space program mirrors the US in general. The post office remains inefficient and billions get dumped there. Health care has been disrupted by the great social program of a community organizer, kids test scores keep dropping vs. the rest of the world, billions are sent to countries that hate us. Oil and gas exploration has progressed despite the government, fruitless wars have been fought with great loss of life and treasure, and NASA and military have been dismantled for social programs.

I have said many times, lawyers are the beavers who dam up the streams of progress. Most of our elected officials are lawyers. Want progress, get different people running the show.

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Comment (1)

  1. andrea says:

    Space travel seems quite wow but sad is it not possible for me.

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