Scientists work on fusion rocket for Mars
NBC News: Researchers at the University of Washington say they’ve built all the pieces for a fusion-powered rocket system that could get a crew to Mars in 30 days.
“If we can pull off a fusion demonstration in a year, with hundreds of thousands of dollars … there might be a better, cheaper, faster path to using fusion in other applications,” John Slough, a research assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics, told NBC News. …
Timetables for the advent of fusion energy applications have repeatedly shifted to the right, reviving the old joke that the dawn of the fusion age will always be 30 years away.
Photo: An artist’s conception shows a spacecraft powered by a fusion-driven rocket. (UW / MSNW)
Saturdays have become a veritable “this week in space” day around here lately, as last week we touched on the development of the solar-sail project “Sunjammer,” and this week brings exciting news on the Martian travel front. Of course, relying on fusion energy, this is still theoretical, and thus doen’t speak to anything assured — but isn’t it fun to daydream about a month-long jaunt to Mars anyhow?