Building the Engine That Will Take Us to Mars
Franklin Chang Díaz is a pioneer. As a child, he dreamed of going into space. As an adult, he made his wish come true. Diaz was the first naturalized U.S. citizen from Latin America to become an astronaut. After making seven trips into space, the MIT-educated Díaz retired from NASA and set his sights on speeding up the journey to Mars. A trip using chemical-powered rockets takes nine months—Díaz has developed a plasma-propelled engine that he says will cut the journey down to just over one month. We visit Ad Astra Rocket Company in Webster, Texas, to see the project Díaz has been working on for 40 years.
#mars #space #plasma
This story is a part of our Frontiers series, where we bring you front and center to the dreamers, pioneers, and innovators leading society at the cutting edge. Let us take you along for a trip to the oft-imagined but rarely accomplished.
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