Ex-NASA Space Shuttle astronaut has a plan to get humans to Mars fast
Images provided by Ad Astra
- The Ad Astra Rocket Company is developing a high-power electric propulsion engine called VASIMR to greatly shorten Mars travel times.
- The firm was founded by former NASA astronaut Franklin Chang-Díaz, whose experience in space shaped the role his company aims to play on Earth and in space.
- Ad Astra claims its VASIMR engine could eventually reduce travel times to Mars to as little as 45 days.
The first human Mars explorers will be terrifyingly isolated.
There's no abort system that could safely return astronauts to Earth from deep space, meaning a relatively minor malfunction could prove catastrophic. Then there's the mental health toll of space exploration as well as the long-term effects of radiation exposure.
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