Space is pretty darn big. If we’re going to explore more of it, we’re going to need something more efficient than liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. That’s where magneto-inertial fusion comes in. Sound complicated? It is. Researcher John Slough is figuring out how to heat and compress magnetized plasma to fusion conditions, which would heat propellant through a magnetized nozzle. All you need to know is that it will make rockets go fast, cutting down trips to Mars from 18 months to around 30 days.
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