Loop: All About Space

  • Plasma Thruster

    Has this woman (in photograph in front of artists concept of the fusion thruster) just invented the rocket that will take us to Mars?
    The unique design of the plasma thruster could enable spacecraft to travel to distant planets much faster than they can now.
    Dr Fatima Ebrahimi has invented a new fusion rocket thruster concept which could power humans to Mars and beyond.
    The physicist who works for the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) designed the rocket which will use magnetic fields to shoot plasma particles - electrically charged gas - into the vacuum of space.
    According to Newton's second and third laws of motion, the conservation of momentum would mean the rocket was propelled forwards - and at speeds 10 times faster than comparable devices.
    The invention could enable humans to travel to Mars
    While current space-proven plasma propulsion engines use electric fields to propel the particles, the new rocket design would accelerate them using magnetic reconnection.
    This process is found throughout the universe but is most observable to humanity on the surface of the sun. When magnetic field lines converge there, before separating and then reconnect again, they product an enormous amount of energy.
    A brilliant mind designing a brilliant concept.

Loop Description

All About Space

Discussing news and questions around space flight, space science and astronomy. Beware, flat-earthers might get banned.