Thursday, May 6, 2010

New booster rocket

Engine seen boosting spaceflight

A new rocket design may dramatically shorten space travel to Mars. Ad Astra Rocket is developing a plasma-powered engine that it says could transport astronauts to Mars in 39-45 days vs. 9 months for conventional chemical rockets. For astronauts, shorter travel time reduces risks of exposure to potentially deadly radiation, according to Discovery News. The rocket uses magnetic energy to force the charged plasma out the back of the engine, producing thrust. The company plans to launch the rocket in 2014.