Credits By: Venezuela News
NASA faces a critical challenge in ensuring astronauts’ health during long-term space missions, as exposure to microgravity and cosmic radiation can lead to serious health issues. To keep future Mars missions within safe limits, the journey duration needs to be limited to less than four years. However, current rocket propulsion technology necessitates a seven-month journey to Mars, meaning almost a third of the mission is dedicated to commuting.
UK-based aerospace company Pulsar Fusion aims to cut the travel time to Mars in half by harnessing the incredible power of nuclear fusion, the same process that fuels the sun. With fusion offering 1,000 times the power of conventional ion thrusters used in orbit, it presents a potential breakthrough in space propulsion.
How It Works:
Fusion occurs when two atoms merge, releasing a tremendous amount of energy without harmful emissions, making it a sought-after source of clean energy. Pulsar Fusion plans to create a fusion rocket by containing super-hot plasma within electromagnetic fields. While scientists have faced challenges in sustaining fusion reactions, the unique environment of space may offer opportunities for success.
Pulsar Fusion’s ambitious goal is to create a fusion rocket that can achieve exhaust speeds propelling the spacecraft forward at an incredible 500,000 mph, far surpassing the speeds of any crewed rocket to date (24,791 mph).
If successful, Pulsar’s fusion rocket could drastically reduce travel times for manned and unmanned missions throughout the solar system. Trips to Mars and back could be completed in weeks instead of months or years, and the outer planets and their moons could become accessible destinations for space exploration.
Pulsar Fusion has partnered with aerospace R&D company Princeton Satellite Systems for an AI-driven study to model hot plasma behavior in a fusion rocket engine. Additionally, the company has commenced construction of an eight-meter fusion reaction chamber in the UK, with plans to begin firing it in 2025 and achieve fusion temperatures by 2027. The ultimate goal is to conduct a test firing in orbit, demonstrating the potential of fusion propulsion for the future of space exploration.
Pulsar Fusion’s vision represents a significant leap forward in space travel, offering a potential solution to propel humanity beyond our solar system within a human lifetime. If successful, this technology could redefine the possibilities of interplanetary exploration and open the doors to exciting new frontiers in the cosmos.