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NASA's Record-Breaking "Sci-Fi" Ion Engine -- "On the Horizon: Manned Missions to Mars In Weeks" (A 'Galaxy' 2017 Most Viewed)

 

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An advanced space engine in the running at NASA to propel humans to Mars has broken the records for operating current, power and thrust for a device of its kind, known as a Hall Thruster, one of three Mars engine prototypes currently in development, that uses electric and magnetic fields to ionize gases like xenon and expels the ions to produce thrust, a much cleaner, safer and more fuel efficient than traditional chemical rockets, but with relatively low thrust and acceleration.

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Warpdrive

Comments

Hey guys - The link to the rest of the article is broken ("page not found") . . . how about fixing it so we can read the rest of the piece??

Yeah, NASA [never a straight answer] ... sure, right, I really believe this is in *development* ... likely, they've been in use for at least a decade.

This is old news. They were on Mars decades ago.

@Frank Smith, your comment requires you to provide all the details data to back it up.
We'll wait.

In their defense, I give you DAWN:
https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/dawn/spacecraft/index.html
launched in 2007.

But in rebuttal, this new engine is FAR higher power than that version, which is why it is news. The increased thrust will greatly reduce the time required to accelerate to escape velocity, and then decelerate to orbital velocity at the destination. Which is where they get the "weeks" instead of the current many months.

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