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Old 07-27-2009, 11:38 PM   #1
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Default mars in 39 days view into the future


http://gizmodo.com/5323958/ion-engin...ars-in-39-days
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With current rocket technology, it would take six months for us to travel to Mars. But with nuclear-powered ion engine technology? Well, that'd take more like six weeks.
Ion engines aren't strong enough to lift a rocket out of orbit, but once a ship is in space it would make the trip to Mars a hell of a lot faster.
Ion engines, on the other hand, accelerate electrically charged atoms, or ions, through an electric field, thereby pushing the spacecraft in the opposite direction. They provide much less thrust at a given moment than do chemical rockets, which means they can't break free of the Earth's gravity on their own
But once in space, they can give a continuous push for years, like a steady breeze at the back of a sailboat, accelerating gradually until they're moving faster than chemical rockets.
If connected to an onboard nuclear reactor, an ion engine could propel a craft to mars in a mere 39 days, which would make the whole trip worthwhile. Of course, first they need to figure out how to put a nuclear reactor on a spaceship and also build an appropriately badass ion engine. But once they do that, we're golden. [New Scientist via io9]
this should be looked into very closely as it would defeat the issues of having zero gravity for way 2 long




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This? It's not just a tiny screen running Windows. It's a tiny screen running Windows that fits over your eye. Technically, that video display is one monitor from a pair of Myvu Crystal glasses, but one MicroPCTalk forum member connected the device to a completely portable computing rig, powered by a Sony UX380N UMPC and accessing online content (at half the speed of dial up) via a Motorola iDEN i425 cellphone.
Bluetooth fills in the gaps for various input (mouse, FrogPad keyboard and mic) and output (stereo audio), but the system is far from wireless, with most components wired directly into the UX380N.
We wouldn't call this DIY system our ideal interface for eyeglass computing and augmented reality applications, but for one dude working in the comfort of his own home, not bad! [UMPC Portal via SlashGear]
cant wait till this improves and becomes practical and the size of my contacts
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Old 07-28-2009, 11:29 AM   #2
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Default Re: mars in 39 days view into the future

Cool stuff man. I have always believed in the possibility of ION engines and ION cannons but I just never believed they may be coming around within my younger years. But very cool articles for sure.
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Old 07-28-2009, 05:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: mars in 39 days view into the future

That sounds like a good concept to me. Once in space to they provide an exponential accelaration until you get somewhere near the speed of light?
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: mars in 39 days view into the future

This is pretty cool. I've messed with ion propulsion before, its cool, but seems impractical, but I know NASA has been experimenting with it for years.

Guess they finally found a use.
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: mars in 39 days view into the future

no matter what you think of NASA, pro or con, waste of money or not, you know they got some of the smartest people working for them, thats for sure, one day i hope to work for them in some part . . .
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: mars in 39 days view into the future

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Originally Posted by David Lindon View Post
That sounds like a good concept to me. Once in space to they provide an exponential accelaration until you get somewhere near the speed of light?
idk i mean it depends how long the engine is fired in space the longer you firer the fast you go so if this thing is nuclear im sure it could pick up a crazy amount of speed
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: mars in 39 days view into the future

but nowhere near lightspeed unless it is running for a VERY long time.
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: mars in 39 days view into the future

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but nowhere near lightspeed unless it is running for a VERY long time.
Cryogenic suspension plus ion cannons equals Alpha frickin Centauri.
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: mars in 39 days view into the future

Doubt it.

Ion propulsion is very inefficient.
It can just be run for extremely long periods of time, and with nuclear power it could be enough for a few months.
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: mars in 39 days view into the future

more then a few months....jeeze...

look how long it lasts in nuclear reactors on carriers, every 30 years they need new uranium/fuel.
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