Rapid Human Trips to Mars Could Soon Be Possible

Looking for a new experience to try? How about a rocket ride to Mars? It may sound a little far-fetched, but that’s what could one day be available as an option for those who can afford it. Sure there are issues to get over such as the radiation exposure, cancer, and other risks, but with a newly designed rocket, humans could actually be traveling to Mars in just three minutes.

Firstly, for humans to ever make it to Mars, we’d need “Planck photon rocket drives,” is the comment from Espen Gaarder Haug in a soon to be published report in the journal Acta Astronautica. These rockets would transport humans to Mars just .0001 percent slower than the speed of light by using energy converted from electromagnetic radiation as fuel.

“The fuel is converted into light which leads to radiation pressure that drives the rocket forward. Laboratory experiments show that the concept of driving an object forward by using only photons is clearly possible, but there is still a long way to go in developing large photon rockets that could send materials or people into outer space,” explained Haug, a professor at the Norwegian University and author of the report.

The concept of Planck photon rocket drives has been around for over 100 years, but scientists have never been quite ready to begin construction of them. Using Planck‘s calculations and prior work, Haug designed a rocket that would effectively travel to Mars in around three minutes and would need the energy of two Planck masses.  Although Haug’s rockets are purely hypothetical at this point, they’re still one step closer to getting humankind to Mars.

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