Nuclear Fusion Technology will speed up Space Travel
In a previous article, we saw how a private organization is aiming to colonize Mars in about 10 years from now. With our current space technology, a round trip to Mars would require 501 days to travel as far from Earth as 61 million kilometres. But nuclear fusion technology could cut this trip down to three months!
At the University of Washington researchers promise to develop a nuclear fusion rocket that could increase the speed of a spacecraft to 12 miles per second. The use of plasma with the nuclear fusion process will not only help to achieve this incredible speed but also conserve fuel. Nuclear fusion is the process where two or more ‘light’ atomic nuclei collide at a very high speed in order to create a new atom. During this process huge amounts of energy are created. The research in nuclear fusions reactors has been ongoing for more than 60 years. The main issue with fusion is how to contain the plasma energy created and how to maintain a controlled fusion.
The scientists in the team working on this concept have shown in demo lab tests all the different stages that are required for such a propulsion to work. Their plans are to run a full experiment by the summer of 2013.
The scientific team has created a company called MSNW to work on the project with funding by NASA.
By John Black