Scientists in Costa Rica set plasma engine record

imageScientists in Costa Rica have run a plasma rocket engine continuously for a record of more than four hours, the latest achievement in a mission to cut costs and travel time for spacecraft.

The Ad Astra Rocket Company, led by Costa Rican-born former NASA astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz, said on Wednesday it hopes to use its rocket engines to stabilize space stations in a few years, and then to power a trip to Mars within two decades.

“The first objective is to move small spacecraft in low orbit by 2010,” Ad Astra executive director Ronald Chang-Diaz, the astronaut’s brother, told Reuters.

In December, the scientists ran the engine for two minutes but had to turn it off because it was overheating. They have spent much of the past six months designing cooling systems.

Scientists believe propulsion engines that run on plasma, a material composed of atoms stripped of electrons and found in high-pressure and -temperature environments like stars and lightning bolts, will be faster and cheaper than rockets currently used in space travel.

Source:  Reuters

One Response to “Scientists in Costa Rica set plasma engine record”

  1. the inventor Says:

    Dear Fellow Scientist,

    NASA’s rocket technology not for real space exploration but here is one.

    Sir, don’t be dismayed to see how little information there is on the internet. Despite that, I hope you totally understand my need for anonymity. Assuming that the technology is as effective as I say it is, releasing it to the public in all its splendor could make the world think that a) I am off my rocker, b) that I’m completely wrong or c) just some sci-fi aficionado who’s gone a bit too far.

    Sad state of affairs, but hey, that’s the price of true innovation right?


    The Inventor

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