Topics: Mars, Nuclear Fusion, Space Exploration, Spaceflight, Women in Science
A physicist has come up with a new rocket engine thruster concept that could take people to Mars ten times more quickly.
The physicist in question, Fatima Ebrahimi, is the concept’s inventor and is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL).
Ebrahimi’s study was published in the Journal of Plasma Physics.
An engine thruster based off solar flares
One of the main differences between Ebrahimi’s new rocket thruster concept and other space-proven ones is that hers uses magnetic fields to boost particles of plasma out of the back of the rocket. So far, space-proven ones use electric fields to boost plasma.
Plasma is one of the four fundamental states of matter, and made of gas ions and free electrons. Our Sun is a burning ball of plasma that uses a fusion reaction, for instance.
New Rocket Thruster Concept to Take Humans to Mars 10 Times Faster, Fabienne Lang, Interesting Engineering