The VASIMR Ion Engine Space Rocket

New Scientist

Ion engine could one day power 39-day trips to Mars

There's a growing chorus of calls to send astronauts to Mars rather than the moon, but critics point out that such trips would be long and gruelling, taking about six months to reach the Red Planet. But now, researchers are testing a powerful new ion engine that could one day shorten the journey to just 39 days.

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This is an educational video about an advance space propulsion system. This is for learning. If you don't want to learn the pictures funny!

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1. Ability to vary the exhaust parameters (thrust and specific impulse) in order to optimally match mission requirements. [...]
2. VASIMR® is driven by electromagnetic (RF) waves and has no physical material electrodes in contact with the hot plasma.[...]
Coupled with nuclear power this new type of rocket technology could dramatically shorten human transit times between planets (less than 3 months to Mars) and propel robotic cargo missions with a very large payload mass fraction.[...]
Solar power can be efficiently used for near-Earth VASIMR® missions, such as drag compensation for space stations, lunar cargo transport and in-space refueling. Recent advances in solar array technology promises increases in solar power utilization by an order of magnitude. [...]
VASIMR System Simplified
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Plasma Rocket

Plasma test shots from the VASIMR VX-100 prototype plasma rocket housed at NASA's Johnson Space Center.

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  1. Ion engine could one day power 39-day trips to Mars - 22 July 2009 - New Scientist
  2. YouTube - NASA Connect - VASIMR
  3. VASIMR Technology page
  4. VASIMR page
  5. YouTube - Plasma Rocket
  1. Ad Astra Rocket Company Information Page
  2. Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia