[ExI] one way ticket to mars

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Tue Apr 23 17:07:17 UTC 2013

On Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 5:45 PM, Eugen Leitl wrote:

> There are some data on nuclear VASIMR
> http://web.mit.edu/mars/Conference_Archives/MarsWeek04_April/Speaker_Documents/VASIMREngine-TimGlover.pdf

That nuclear design was 2004 and we are still no nearer getting a
nuclear power engine in space to generate enough electricity for a big
VASIMR engine.  Without that, even adastrarocket company themselves
only claim that the VX-200 will reduce fuel costs on a trip to Mars.
i.e. It won't be quicker, just a bit cheaper.

> VASIMR VX-200 claims an Isp of 5000 s.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variable_Specific_Impulse_Magnetoplasma_Rocket
> Zubrin doesn't like Ad Astra, but they've replied to his criticisms
> with http://www.adastrarocket.com/VASIMR_development_AdAstra_15July2011.pdf

Quote from that 2011 pdf:
"It is abundantly clear that the nuclear reactor technology required
for such missions is not available today and major advances in reactor
design and power conversion are needed".

That is still the position today in 2013.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list