How long would a round trip to Mars take in the vasimr rocket?

How long would a round trip to Mars take in the vasimr rocket?

39 days
A 10- to 20-megawatt VASIMR engine could propel human missions to Mars in just 39 days, whereas conventional rockets would take six months or more. The shorter the trip, the less time astronauts would be exposed to space radiation, which is a significant hurdle for Mars missions.

How long will the trip to Mars take?

about seven months
The trip to Mars will take about seven months and about 300 million miles (480 million kilometers). During that journey, engineers have several opportunities to adjust the spacecraft’s flight path, to make sure its speed and direction are best for arrival at Jezero Crater on Mars.

What kind of rocket is the VASIMR made of?

Chang-Diaz, who began working on the plasma rocket in 1979, said, “A precursor to fusion rockets, the VASIMR provides a power-rich, fast-propulsion architecture.” Plasma, sometimes called the fourth state of matter, is an ionized (or electrically charged) gas made up of atoms stripped of some of their electrons. Stars are made of plasma.

Why is the VASIMR engine important to NASA?

For example, NASA researchers believe that VASIMR would be able to travel to Mars much more quickly than a contemporary chemical-powered rocket, and then, once there, to refuel on Mars for the return flight to Earth. The VASIMR engine could also even help protect astronauts from the dangerous effects of radiation during their trip.

What kind of propulsion system does the VASIMR have?

Image to right: A VASIMR engine goes through many lab tests. Credit: NASA VASIMR is a plasma-based propulsion system. An electric power source is used to ionize fuel into plasma.

Can a VASIMR be used on the International Space Station?

After VASIMR completes some additional earthbound testing, its designers hope for it to be tested in orbit onboard the International Space Station. A prototype engine would be mounted on the ISS’s truss to demonstrate how it works. The prototype would draw its electrical power from the Station’s solar panels.

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