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New Pulsed Plasma Rocket Design May Allow Two-Month Trip to Mars

Safe and efficient interplanetary travel has been a dream of mankind for over a century, and the idea of using fission or fusion propulsion for rockets goes back to the 1940’s.

NASA initiated the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Program in 2011 to promote and fund innovation in space travel and exploration. “The NIAC program seeks innovations from diverse and non-traditional sources and NIAC projects study innovative, technically credible, advanced concepts that could one day ‘change the possible’ in aerospace.”

The most recent series of awards in 2024 were granted to 13 space technology concepts, including a proposal for a sample return from the surface of Venus, a large aperture telescope utilizing liquid mirrors, and a Pulsed Plasma Rocket (PPR).

The PPR is being designed and developed by Howe Industries of Scottsdale, Arizona.

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