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A pulsed plasma rocket concept, funded by NASA, is being developed with the goal of transporting astronauts to Mars in just 2 months.

The PPR enables a whole new era in space exploration.

A new rocket that is currently being developed by Howe Industries called Pulsed Plasma Rocket (PPR) has the ability of completely revolutionizing future deep space missions in Mars. This new propulsion system is designed to cut Mars flight times to two months to travel from earth to Mars. Due to its high specific impulse (Isp) the PPR is envisaged to be more efficient than the current propulsion solutions meaning that travel between Earth and Mars will be much faster and easier for astronauts as well as cargo transportation. NASA officials are also confident that this groundbreaking technology might work.

PPR is based on the Pulsed Fission Fusion idea that uses a fission-type nuclear reactor to propagate thrust for space exploration by atom splitting with control. The PPR is characterized by the reduced complication of design and overall decreased cost compared to the aforementioned concepts.

The PPR’s increased power capabilities as well as its ability to carry a heavier spacecraft permits the addition of more shielding around the crew to help them protect from harmful Galactic Cosmic Rays encountered during extended space travel.

NASA officials have commented that the PPR represents a major leap forward for space propulsion with its ability to deliver high Isp and high payload at impressive thrust levels that could change the way humans continue to explore the final frontier for generations to come. These advantages might mean that manned missions to Mars could be completed in as little as two months.

Entering the second phase of the NIAC PPR study, the concept has evolved from work completed in Phase I including propulsion system neutronics, spacecraft and power system, analysis of the magnetic nozzle, mission design, and benefits analysis.

Phase II will involve improvements of the engine design and PoC experiments, as well as development enhancements for the spacecraft concepts for safe crewed explorations of Mars. With the promise to make a lasting footprint on Mars, the PPR could help NASA to achieve a permanent base on Mars.

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