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Experts look at new techs to enable faster trip to Mars

25-Dec-2019

Key points from article :

Solar electric propulsion could be used to send cargo to Mars ahead of a human mission.

Works underway for a Hall thruster for the Gateway, a proposed space station in lunar orbit.

It will be much more fuel efficient than a liquid hydrogen and oxygen rocket engine.

But 2 major drawbacks are the amount of time it takes to get there, and size of solar arrays

Nuclear thermal electric propulsion, a proposed better option, with 3 months transit time.

Boeing worries about the effects a nuclear reactor might have on astronauts.

Electric ion propulsion another option, but still under development.

Martin and Boeing both think liquid chemical rockets need to be the bedrock of any human mission to Mars.

Chemical rockets are a proven technology that worked in all the Apollo missions.

STPI thinks we can leave for Mars in 2039, NASA hopes for 2024 moon exploration first.

Speed, maximum load, human safety, and power source, among the main factors considered

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Company

American rocket propulsion company

Company

Aerospace & defense leader that manufactures advanced propulsion and energetics systems

Company

Aerospace company

Academic

Professor, Eminent scholar in systems engineering at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH)

Academic

Ad Astra's president and CEO, mechanical engineer, physicist, former NASA astronauta

Academic

Chief Engineer, NASA

Academic

Executive director of Aerojet Rocketdyne's space division

Institute

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Academic

Boeing rocket propulsion specialis

Institute

Federally funded research and development center, Washington

Academic

Human spaceflight architect at Lockheed Martin