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Scientists develop fusion rocket technology in lab - and aim for Mars

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At cosmiclog.nbcnews.com


An artist's conception shows a spacecraft powered by a fusion-driven rocket. In this image, the crew would be in the forward chamber, shielded from the fusion reactor toward the back. Solar panels on the sides would collect energy to initiate the process
(image by UW / MSNW)

Researchers at the University of Washington say they've built all the pieces for a fusion-powered rocket system that could get a crew to Mars in 30 days. Now they just have to put the pieces together and see if they work. 'If we can pull off a fusion demonstration in a year, with hundreds of thousands of dollars ... there might be a better, cheaper, faster path to using fusion in other applications,' John Slough, a research assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics, told NBC News. Slough and his colleagues are working on a system that shoots ringlets of metal into a specially designed magnetic field. The ringlets collapse around a tiny droplet of deuterium, a hydrogen isotope, compressing it so tightly that it produces a fusion reaction for a few millionths of a second. The reaction should result in a significant energy gain.

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At cosmiclog.nbcnews.com


 

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be overstated. Assuming we somehow bring forth our... by Daniel Geery on Saturday, Apr 6, 2013 at 12:39:53 PM