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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

New ion engine could reach Mars in 39 days

 But the chemical propulsion system that took them to the moon would take six months, at least, to get a man to Mars and cost hundreds of billions of dollars. However, a new ion plasma rocket being developed by another former astronaut, Franklin Chang-Diaz, could potentially reach Mars in just 39 days using a fraction of the fuel.

The problem with traditional rockets is that they’re terribly inefficient. About 90% of a mission’s initial weight is fuel, most of which is burned up escaping earth’s gravitational pull.

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July 28, 2009 article

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