Riding a laser to Mars

Could a laser send a spacecraft to Mars? That's a proposed mission from a group at McGill University, designed to meet a solicitation from NASA. The laser, a 10-meter wide array on Earth, would heat hydrogen plasma in a chamber ...

The revolutionary ion engine that took spacecraft to Ceres

The NASA spacecraft Dawn has spent more than seven years travelling across the Solar System to intercept the asteroid Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres. Now in orbit around Ceres, the probe has returned the first images and ...

Will the X3 ion thruster propel us to Mars?

X3 is a powerful ion thruster that could one day propel humans beyond Earth. The thruster was successfully tested few months ago, and could be selected by NASA as a crucial component of propulsion system for future Mars missions.

Solar electric propulsion makes NASA's Psyche spacecraft go

When it comes time for NASA's Psyche spacecraft to power itself through deep space, it'll be more brain than brawn that does the work. Once the stuff of science fiction, the efficient and quiet power of electric propulsion ...

Could plasma jet thrusters 'kickstart' interplanetary travel?

A great offshoot from commercial space companies getting a foothold in real missions to orbit is that the old entrepreneurial space spirit seems to have been revived. People are attempting to develop and build what could ...

Rolls-Royce unveils hybrid flying taxi at Farnborough

British engine maker Rolls-Royce revealed plans this week to develop a hybrid electric vehicle, dubbed the "flying taxi", which takes off and lands vertically and could be airborne within five years.

Electric aircraft take to the air

On the 1st of March 2009, a pair of electric aircraft had simultaneous maiden flights at Sywell Aerodrome near Northampton. These are the first electric aircraft to fly in the UK under the recently introduced sub-115 kg regime, ...

NASA's new ion engine ready for missions in space

(PhysOrg.com) -- A small robotic surveyor arrives to explore a near-Earth asteroid. Another robotic spacecraft is returning to Earth with a pristine comet surface sample. Meanwhile, a robotic explorer is approaching Uranus, ...

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