British airline They press Fusion Launched an ambitious project that could revolutionize space travel: Building a nuclear fusion engine capable of reaching amazing speeds of up to 800,000 kilometers per hour.
This engine, if successful, could significantly reduce travel time within the solar system, Including reaching Mars within weeks instead of months.
According to timeThe company is developing nuclear fusion propulsion technology for spacecraft, which could open new horizons in space exploration. the system It promises a more efficient and economical approach to manned and unmanned space missions.
The current estimate for a manned mission to Mars is between five and 10 months, with an average of seven months, according to NASA. But they’re pressing Fusion, He promised to reduce this time to just a few weeks. In addition, for longer missions, such as a trip to Saturn’s moon Titan, flights can be reduced from 10 years to just two years.
How does the engine work?
This technology is based on a concept called Direct Fusion Drive (DFD)It is a compact nuclear fusion engine that can provide propulsion and electrical power for the spacecraft. The primary promise of a DFD is its ability to achieve a very high payload/propellant mass ratio, enabling faster and more efficient travel.
A critical aspect of this technology is the control of the plasma in the fusion reactor. Pulsan Fusion partners with Princeton Satellite Systems to Using AI simulations on a supercomputer to understand and control plasma behavior under magnetic confinement.
The company’s CEO, Richard Dinan, confirmed that static tests of the engine will begin in 2024, followed by launch tests the following year. Once the necessary fusion temperature is reached (more than 100 million degrees Celsius), the engine will be tested in orbit.
Ultimately, if this nuclear fusion technology succeeds, it could change the way we explore space. Faster, more efficient travel could take us to distant worlds and expand our understanding of the universe in a way that has until now been possible only in science fiction.