(Mirror Daily, United States) – A physics professor demonstrated that a shorter trip to Mars is theoretically possible. According to the Philip Lubin who teaches at the University of California, a propulsion system based on laser technology could significantly shorten the voyage towards the Red Planet. Unfortunately, everything is still in pure theoretical form.
Professor Lubin is sure that a shorter trip to Mars is theoretically possible. But there is still a long way to go before he could prove his theories in practical experiments.
It’s no secret that NASA plans on sending a human expedition to the Red Planet by 2030. But with present technology the trip alone would last approximately five months. Besides, the mission would have to last at least two years given the fact that the planets align perfectly once every twenty-six months.
The technology that professor Lubin is proposing would take the astronauts there in only three days. The problem is that his idea is purely theoretical, yet.
The professor of physics and NASA scientist developed a system that would make use of laser technology instead of the traditional rocket fuel.
The advantages of such a propulsion method would be the fact that while lasers generate momentum and energy, they are void of mass. This means that the spacecraft would be significantly lighter in the absence of fuel and fuel reserves.
Furthermore, the spacecraft would not only be lighter but notably faster. The momentum force generated by laser technology could prove to be a highly efficient propulsion system that will shorten the trip from several months to several days.
Of course, this entire idea is purely theoretical. While the laser-powered spacecraft is not impossible to build, there are additional factors that must be taken into consideration.
For example, there is the twin paradox that could affect the members of the mission. According to it, if one twin goes to space and travels at a great speed, while the other remains on Earth, the latter will be significantly older when the first one returns.
This paradox was explained by several physicists over the years, including Albert Einstein and Max Born who invoked the concept of gravitational time dilation as the main reason for the decreased aging of the astronaut twin.
Of course, as the theory of relativity and the principle of time dilation, the twin paradox is just another theory. But it still raises some questions regarding the effects that such a high-speed journey could have on the astronauts.
For the moment, it seems that while a shorter trip to Mars is theoretically possible, NASA is still counting on “old-fashioned” rocket fuel to power up the 2030 expedition.
Image Source: www.wikimedia.org
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