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Plasma beam could make for 90 day voyage to Mars

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posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 01:20 AM
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Plasma beam for 90-day Mars visit

BBC


Advocates of a propulsion idea for spacecraft claim that it would enable a 90-day round trip to Mars.

Using current technology, it would take astronauts about 2.5 years to travel to Mars, conduct their mission and return to Earth, US scientists estimate.

It would use a space station to fire a beam of magnetised particles at a solar sail mounted on a spacecraft.

This plasma beam would then make use of repulsive forces to propel the spacecraft along at high speeds.

The speeds possible would increase with the size of the plasma beam, say the team behind the concept - which is called Mag-Beam.

Project leader Robert Winglee of the University of Washington estimates that a control nozzle 32m wide would generate a plasma beam capable of propelling a spacecraft at 11.7km/second.

"We're trying to get to Mars and back in 90 days. Our philosophy is that, if it's going to take two-and-a-half years, the chances of a successful mission are pretty low," he said.

However, to make such high speeds practical, another plasma unit would have to be stationed on a platform at the other end of the trip to apply brakes to the spacecraft.

Reduced burden

"Rather than a spacecraft having to carry these big powerful propulsion units, you can have much smaller payloads," Professor Winglee explained.

He added that these units could be placed around the Solar System by Nasa missions currently in the pipeline. Units placed further out in the Solar System would use nuclear power to create the ionized plasma, while those closer to the Sun would be able to use electricity generated by solar panels.

Mars is an average of 77 million km (48 million miles) from Earth, although this distance can vary greatly depending on where the two planets are in their orbits around the Sun. At that distance, a spacecraft travelling at 11.7km/second would take more than 76 days to get to the Red Planet.

Professor Winglee said he was working on ways to squeeze even greater speeds out of the Mag-Beam technology so that the round trip could be accomplished in three months.

Nasa has invested $75,000 (£41,500) in a six-month study to validate the concept and identify the challenges involved in developing it. It has invested the same amount in 11 similar proposals.

Projects that make it through this phase are eligible for as much as $400,000 (£221,000) more over two years.

A Mag-Beam test mission could be possible within five years if financial support remains consistent, Professor Winglee said.


Sounds cool, if it works.




posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 06:20 PM
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I still think that all this is a hoax. all of it. I believe the government has already got a much more efficient way to get up and out. We're just being told all that money is being invested. The government controls the media, you know, press releases and all. Although i have been wrong before(most the time) and this certainly would be an interesting way to go, but something about being close to plasma scares me...



posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 08:43 PM
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Here is the ting, if you think logically, an unmanned mission to mars will place the beam on mars. And they will not be firing the beams directly at the planets, the ships will be on a course to place you close to the planet to further avoid any disasters. I did a report on this my senior year in high school, and it is very possible with the technology we have today.



posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 08:59 PM
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And if the spacecraft happens to accidentally drift off the plasma beam? With no other propulsion it seems that they'd be in for a long, drawn death. Unless they had suicide pills of course.

Nuclear propulsion could probably get a ship to mars just as fast, and without as much risk. Well, besides radiation poisoning..



posted on Mar, 22 2005 @ 03:49 PM
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Why would you need another projectors at Mars? haven't these guys ever heard or aerobraking?!? I swear, they come up with one toy and forget everything else they know about space travel!



posted on Mar, 22 2005 @ 04:07 PM
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i thought it'll take a month to get to mars using the solar sail and wait you need to fire a magnetic beam at it constantly?!!! oh this does not sound very nice

[edit on 22-3-2005 by missinglink]



posted on Mar, 22 2005 @ 04:19 PM
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also this plan seems like an expensive mass suicide you know first you could drift off the beam and die unless you have non fda patented suicide pills,second the beam could fail and oops i hope they have a bottle of suicide pills,third "oh mars is a beatiful sight okay back to the ship wait how do we get home!!!!!!????" i hope they have suicide pills,fourth why cant we just use ion engines? DUH!!!
why dont you just jump off a building for free?

other than pay like 100 billion bucks and be stranded on mars with no means of getting home?and die in space? unless some aliens come by and give you a lift to earth!

ah ha! inspiration hit me why dont we attach the magnetic beam projectors on the back of the craft! that way well be 100% sure we could get to mars and back with no problems!


[edit on 22-3-2005 by missinglink]



posted on Mar, 22 2005 @ 04:23 PM
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Originally posted by NWguy83
Nasa has invested $75,000 (£41,500) in a six-month study to validate the concept and identify the challenges involved in developing it. It has invested the same amount in 11 similar proposals.

Projects that make it through this phase are eligible for as much as $400,000 (£221,000) more over two years.

A Mag-Beam test mission could be possible within five years if financial support remains consistent, Professor Winglee said.


So... we can do all the research and design to build a pair of 100 foot wide plasma beam generators in space that can propel a vehicle 10 times faster than ever before, for about as much as the pentagon spends on toilet paper each year? pffff...



posted on Mar, 30 2005 @ 09:19 PM
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In that six month "research period" there really isn't that much done. All they really do is sit around and say, is this possible to do, and would it be the most safe and cost effective way to go about it. They also probably draw up diagrams. I am guessing this 75000 is split up this way

$70,000- 6 month supply of food
$3,500- pens, paper and other diagram drawing tools
$1,500- break time dollar bills for the strip clubs



posted on Mar, 30 2005 @ 09:49 PM
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ah ha! inspiration hit me why dont we attach the magnetic beam projectors on the back of the craft! that way well be 100% sure we could get to mars and back with no problems!


Need power, and also fyi if it drifts off of the beam they(the beam operators) could simply adjust the trajectory, and 2 I am assuming this is similiar in concept to a solar sail, so even without the beam they will not be adrift.



posted on Mar, 30 2005 @ 10:10 PM
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...And how do you supposed you keep every single spec of light in place, light goes fast, it moves around, one thing gets switched with another and nobody comes out of it, wouldnt the beam scramble? And what if some small space debris like dust got on the way and stopped a few light particles? Unless it goes in a tube, might as well forget about it.



posted on Mar, 30 2005 @ 10:22 PM
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I don't think propulsion in space is a big deal. But we must figure out how our astronaughts can live in spce safely and healthy. I agree with Flinx nuclear propulsion is the only probable way for them to travel to space except if we find a negative effect in space.



posted on Mar, 30 2005 @ 11:48 PM
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I heard about this a bit back, and I like it...it seems to be the quickest way of getting to Mars. Just 45 days to get to Mars...I cant think of one thing thats faster. If it gets funding...I dont expect to see it before 2020.


missinglink
why cant we just use ion engines? DUH!!!

Great Idea!!! oh yeah, except for the fact that they dont want to get to Mars a half decade after they launch.
Ion engines are great for long trips...like to Jupiter, but closer worlds like Mercury, Venus, & Mars there just not practicle, unless there unmanned. They have very little thrust compared to a normal rocket engines, but the reason there popular is because of there stamina, Today, they can be used for a variety of mission, like SMART-1 which is a Europe moon probe, it took nearly a year to get to the moon, a future mission is called JIMO, which would use ion propulsion to push a craft to Jupiters moons, by means of nuclear powered being converted into electricity then create a gas which is what burns, giving you ions, which gently push the craft.


Tinko1
I still think that all this is a hoax. all of it. I believe the government has already got a much more efficient way to get up and out. We're just being told all that money is being invested. The government controls the media, you know, press releases and all. Although i have been wrong before(most the time) and this certainly would be an interesting way to go, but something about being close to plasma scares me...

Doubt it, unless you believe in anti-grav...which I dont.


MrMorden
Why would you need another projectors at Mars? haven't these guys ever heard or aerobraking?!? I swear, they come up with one toy and forget everything else they know about space travel!


well Mr. Morden...aparently you have a death wish, how exactly would you plan on coming back to Earth?

Aerobraking- the average time it takes to put a probe in orbit above Mars is 3 months and would take even longer for landing mission, not to mention with the MagBeam in that time tou could take 2 roundtrips from the earth to Mars.


Also, If I were the one to build these "magbeams" I would not make them solarpower, they would be nuclear, and obviously the main focus of building such a craft would be on its power and propulsion projection, I would add to it a very large dish, on both of them, that way you can send data to and from the 2 planets faster and larger amounts at a time.
I believe there will be one of these crafts in earths orbit and Mars' orbit, i'm not sure how it would turn, and i'm assuming you would need Line-of-sight (LOS) in order for the craft on route to recieve its magnetic push. and I dont think that this is anything like a solar sail, they use solar wind and not a magneticly charged beam.
I do not know everything about this idea, but I think it deserves funding.



posted on Apr, 4 2005 @ 10:58 PM
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Well what about this problem then:

If this system fires a beam that pushes something an incredible distance towards place A, wouldn't this system push itself back the same distance?

For every action, their is a reaction? type thing?

Or does this not apply for space?



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