NASA Aims Spaceship Speed Over a Million Miles per Hour in Future

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The breakthrough of advanced propulsion is getting near. While the current engine of a spaceship is slow since it has a weak ion drive, traveling to space is possible with the innovation. Current spacecraft may not have the capability to travel faster now, but by 2050, spaceships can travel more than one million mph or miles per hour, and that’s twice faster than the recent project NASA launched.

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Antimatter propulsion is a spaceflight technology that is not widely researched because of its high cost.

However, in 2050 NASA will be exploring more about antimatter propulsion for future spaceships and other spacecraft as it expects to have a new generation of spaceships with antimatter engines.

The current tests are not promising, but new research and advancements in the field will make this technology much more efficient and cost-effective in the years to come.

NASA plans to fly a spaceship over a million miles per hour by 2050.

NASA has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy for research and plans to create the fastest human-made object ever in space, which is called “Faster”. This faster rocket will be propelled by antimatter, which is that positively charged subatomic particle and its antiparticle, the negatively charged one, known as positron.

The aerospace giant also plans to create a “twin” of the faster rocket that will be propelled by ion drive (electric propulsion system), which will have zero pollution and low noise emission. The ion drive system generates thrust by accelerating electrically charged ions via electrostatic or electromagnetic force causing them to emit propellant at high-speed streams behind it. This work is sponsored by the European Commission through its Future Earth Flagship research program.

The project aims to investigate low-cost, sustainable, and environmentally friendly propulsion concepts for space missions. The quickening of the pace for this project is attributed to NASA’s announcement that a 2020 mission will be launched with a new propulsion system, and Airbus has already been selected for a share of the contract.“Both technologies are also compatible with each other, as electric propulsion systems can readily convert from ion drive to thermal/chemical thrusters. The propulsion system chosen by NASA will serve as an excellent testbed for Airbus.

The velocity of the gravitational slingshot and chemical engines are now constraining space exploration and travel via spaceship. The Voyager 1 travels at a velocity of 35,000 miles per hour, which is slow if you’re traveling in space. It’s the recently achieved speed, while the other spacecraft, such as the Helios I, Helios II, and Juno, can only travel up to 150,000 miles per hour through gravitational lifts. Another spacecraft called Parker Solar Probe can reach up to 430,000 miles per hour through the sun’s gravity.

1 NASA Aims Spaceship Speed Over a Million Miles per Hour in Future

On the bright side, the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts or NIAC is encouraging two pioneering concepts that let a velocity of a million kilometers per hour be possible when a spaceship travels in space.

The NIAC is funding two concepts: antimatter propulsion and ion drive. The typical ion drive engines can’t deliver a push that much, yet there are ways to make it produce megawatts of thrust.

NIAC utilized high-energy lasers to provoke 50,000 lithium-ion pushers. NASA will test these engines in four months, where it will pump 10 megawatts into the recently created ion drive, which comes with lasers. JPL is building the components for the new engine. The United States or the US military also works on high-energy lasers, which come with 100-megawatt power output.

3 NASA Aims Spaceship Speed Over a Million Miles per Hour in Future

Another improvement is the new technologies that will start producing ion engines called “direct drive.” This idea has a scanning voltage that’s up to 6000 volts. It will shorten engine building by eliminating some modules and electronics.

Not everyone is aware of the project yet, but there’s significant progress from the group. Spaceship flight will be promising in the future. JPL and NASA expect to be able to construct a working engine that can reach a velocity of 1 million miles per hour or mph by 2050.

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