Nuclear fusion-powered rocket could send humans to Mars

R&D Magazine – “Using existing rocket fuels, it’s nearly impossible for humans to explore much beyond Earth,” says lead researcher John Slough, a UW research associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics. “We are hoping to give us a much more powerful source of energy in space that could eventually lead to making interplanetary travel commonplace.”

The research team has developed a type of plasma that is encased in its own magnetic field. Nuclear fusion occurs when this plasma is compressed to high pressure with a magnetic field. The team has successfully tested this technique in the laboratory.

Only a small amount of fusion is needed to power a rocket—a small grain of sand of this material has the same energy content as 1 gallon of rocket fuel. more>

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