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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

UW scientists' nuclear fusion rocket could send humans to Mars

•, by KING 5 News
 At a Redmond-based space-propulsion company, the group is manipulating nuclear fusion, the same energy that powers the sun and stars, to power a rocket.

The scientists and researchers hope that a fusion-powered rocket will overcome many of the hurdles to deep space travel, including long times in transit, exorbitant costs and health risks.

“Using existing rocket fuels, it’s nearly impossible for humans to explore much beyond Earth,” said 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.”

Slough and his team published papers calculating 60 and 90-day trips to Mars, which would be more practical and much less costly than current possibilities.

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