Wednesday, October 7, 2009
New Videos Show Most Powerful Space Engine In Action [Space]
These beautifully stunning videos show the formidable power of the Ad Astra's VASIMR VX-200, the most powerful space engine in existence. Running at 1,800,000ºF, it looks like Satan opened the peephole of the doors of hell.
The plama engine was tested on September 30, breaking the 200kW maximum power milestone. According to the company, the design has exceeded the predicted performance by 25%. The VASIMR VX-200 has two electromagnetic stages: The first one runs at 32kW and generates plasma from Argon gas, while the second one uses the plasma to output an additional 168kW.
This plasma engine will cut the need for massive amounts of fuel, taking down the current consumption of 7.5 tons of propellant per year—used in the shuttle and other spaceships—down to 0.3 tons. It will also be extremely fast, cutting down the travel to Mars from six months to just 39 days.
The VASIMR will be tested in late 2013 at the International Space Station. Hopefully those guys will pull the handbrake before they find themselves halfway to Saturn.
[Gizmodo via Universe Today—Thanks Gonzalo Oxenford]