Earth to Mars in just 45 days: New tech promises shorter trip to red planet

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Updated: Feb 18, 2022, 11:44 AM(IST)

People inspect models of a Mars base and a rover displayed inside the SKP-S shopping mall in Beijing, China Photograph:( Reuters )

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According to Canadian engineers, a laser-based technology for reaching Mars might drastically reduce the time it takes to reach the Red Planet.

Yes, you read that correctly.

It is now possible to reach Mars in as little as 45 days, which is nothing short of a science enthusiast's dream. 

According to Canadian engineers, a laser-based technology for reaching Mars might drastically reduce the time it takes to reach the Red Planet.

At current rates, it would take around 500 days for a person to reach Mars, according to NASA projections.

However, engineers at McGill University in Canada claim to have created a "laser-thermal propulsion" technology that employs lasers to heat hydrogen fuel and claims to decrease journey time by half to 45 days. 

The US space agency wants to send a crew to Mars in the mid-to-late 2030s, around the same time China plans to place humans on the Red Planet. 

Watch: One year since Perseverance rover landed on Mars

It's called "directed-energy propulsion" because it uses enormous lasers shot from Earth to transmit power to photovoltaic panels aboard a spacecraft, which generate electricity and thrust.

While near Earth, the spacecraft accelerates rapidly, then races toward Mars during the next month, releasing the main vehicle to land on Mars and returning the rest to Earth to be recycled for the next launch.

Reaching Mars in six weeks was previously thought to be conceivable only with nuclear-powered rockets, which pose greater radiation hazards. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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