Conventional spacecraft thrusters work just fine if our target is the moon, but getting to Mars is a different story. Current thrusters can’t carry enough fuel, and making larger ones could sacrifice efficiency. Jason Cassibry of the University of Alabama thinks nuclear power, specifically pulsed fusion, may be the answer. Pulsed fusion involved super-heating hydrogen atoms until their electrons are stripped off. The remaining nuclei then combine, releasing even more energy which keeps the reaction going. This energy is what would propel the spacecraft.
Pulsed fusion isn’t as powerful as rocket fuel when it comes to thrust, but its brilliance lies in its endurance. While rocket fuel burns out quickly, a pulsed fusion thruster could keep going at a steady 24-miles-per-second rate.
Click the link below to learn more about Cassibry’s vision.
Read the full story here: The Big Machine That Could Lead to Fusion-Powered Spaceships
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