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NASA Photonic Propulsion Mars Travel Means We Could Get There in 3 Days

NASA Photonic Propulsion Mars Travel Means We Could Get There in 3 Days
(YouTube)

By    |   Tuesday, 23 February 2016 05:38 PM EST

A NASA 360 video exploring photonic propulsion, which could cut Mars travel time down to three days, has received more than 142,000 views on YouTube.

Philip Lubin, of the University of California, Santa Barbara, states in the video that this amazing travel fete could be achieved with a laser-propelled spacecraft that uses large sails. According to ScienceAlert.com, a spaceship would be pushed along Earth-bound lasers instead of energy from the sun.



"There are recent advances that take this from science fiction to science reality," Lubin says in the video. "There is no known reason why we cannot do this."

Photonic propulsion is a theoretical system that would use particles of light to propel objects through space, according to Wired.com. The energy from particles could potentially transport a 220-pound robotic craft to Mars in three days.

Using the technology, a larger, manned spacecraft could reach Mars within a month.

Lubin wrote in a paper last year about the technology, which has had limited applications so far on Earth.

"While a decade ago what we propose would have been pure fantasy . . . It is no longer fantasy. Recent dramatic and poorly-appreciated technological advancements in directed energy have made what we propose possible, though difficult," he wrote.

"This will allow us to take the step to interstellar exploration using directed energy propulsion combined with miniature probes including some where we would put an entire spacecraft on a wafer in some cases to achieve relativistic flight and allow us to reach nearby stars in a human lifetime," Lubin continued.

NASA administrator Charles Bolden said last year that he wants to cut the time of a current human trip to Mars in half and the space agency was considering multiple options, including solar-electric engines and even nuclear rockets, according to Space.com.

"Right now it's about an eight-month mission; we'd like to cut that in half," Bolden said at the time. "You've got to be specific. If I say I want game-changing in-space propulsion, everyone will go back to [the idea of] moving cargo. I want industry to focus on getting people to move really fast."

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TheWire
A NASA 360 video exploring photonic propulsion, which could cut Mars travel time down to three days, has received more than 142,000 views on YouTube.
nasa, photonic, propulsion, mars, travel
358
2016-38-23
Tuesday, 23 February 2016 05:38 PM
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