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NASA’s New Vasimr Plasma Engine Could Reach Mars In Less Than 6 Weeks

NASA recently delivered $10 million in funding to Ad Astra Rocket Company of Texas for further development of its Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR), an electromagnetic thruster proficient of propelling a spaceship to Mars in just 39 days. NASA’s funding was part of the “12 Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnership.” Ad Astra’s rocket will travel ten times quicker than today’s chemical rockets while using one-tenth the amount of fuel.

The VASIMR system would cut the trip to Mars by months according to Franklin Chang Diaz, a former MIT student, NASA astronaut, and now CEO of Ad Astra.

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