Without a doubt, humanity will go to Mars one day. While the main problem is ‘when?’ rather than ‘how?’, the time spent for such a journey is also an important aspect to consider. The minimum distance between Earth and Mars is about 140 times higher than the one that separates our planet from the Moon.
Time is one of the most important things we have in life, and the faster we do stuff in general, the better. The Iranian-American physicist, Fatima Ebrahimi from the Department of Energy (DoE), has considered both this aspect and a future journey to Mars, and she proposes a very interesting project, according to Yahoo! Finance.
Sending people to Mars 10 times faster than by the usual methods
The new idea relies on nuclear fusion rocket that makes thrust by using magnetic fields, and it will be sending astronauts to the Red Planet 10 times faster than by the existing ideas. The concept mechanism of the DoE physicist is already at play in nuclear fusion reactors and in the Sun’s solar flares, which means that it shouldn’t be unrealistic to believe that it can be used for sending people to Mars.
DoE’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) writes:
The device would apply magnetic fields to cause particles of plasma, electrically charged gas also known as the fourth state of matter, to shoot out the back of a rocket and, because of the conservation of momentum, propel the craft forward.
Fatima Ebrahimi came with the ingenious idea after thinking about the speeds that particles reach inside PPPL’s national Spherical Torus Experiment, which is a tokamak reactor. She declared:
During its operation, this tokamak produces magnetic bubbles called plasmoids that move at around 20 kilometers per second, which seemed to me a lot like thrust.
Ebrahimi’s concept device uses electromagnets for adjusting the thrust, such as a magnetic gas pedal for increasing and decreasing velocity. There’s also an additional material known as plasmoids and traditional plasma for increasing the thrust potential.