New rocket engine should allow a 37-day trip to Mars

May

11

2015

Scientists claim to have found a way to build a rocket that can bridge distances significantly faster than conventional rockets. So have a space trip to Mars not last longer than 37 days.

The research was done by NASA in collaboration with scientists at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. They propose to have a new concept designed for rapid rocket: compared with conventional technology would lead their approach to the tripling of the rate. This should be a trip to Mars in 37 days to complete, according to the scientists.

The new missile is to be built on a so-called Pulsed Fission Fusion propulsion system. This means more or less in a hybrid structure, in which both use is made of nuclear fission and nuclear fusion. A core split reaction in depleted uranium should initiate a fusion reaction in a plasma mixture of deuterium and tritium, which is at the core of the rocket engine, eventually releasing energy. While the ignition does the cleavage reaction also ensures that a more complete fusion reaction occurs, there is a form of synergy between the two reactions. The nuclear reactions are surrounded by a column of lithium, which has to ensure that the combustion takes place gradually.

Where such rocket can be built and deployed is not known. Scientists have only one publication put out how such a system might work. That means that an application in practice probably as overdue.

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