Read in The Week today that NASA Ames and the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) just started a project called the ” Hundred Year Star ship ” . With $1 million funding from DARPA and $100K This project is designed to take astronaut a one way trip to Mars or to another planets. So what is this project really is? what do they mean by the term “one way trip” . Evan Dashevsky at GearLog mention that space is “annoyingly, impractically huge” and it will took a long time for us to travel, assuming that the nearest planet to earth is 24 million miles away. ” Also, it will cost a lot less, since the major expense of any plan to travel to other worlds is bringing the astronauts home, say geologist Dirk Schulze-Makuch and physicist Paul Davies in the Journal of Cosmology.
Now, who would volunteer for this kind of task? Rebecca Boyle in Popular Science, noted that price tag does not include the inestimable cost of saying goodbye forever,” “It would really be little different from the first white settlers of the North American continent, who left Europe with little expectation of return,” says Davies.
NASA is looking at electric and ground-based microwave thermal propulsion systems to boost the ship into space, rather than using heavy rocket fuel. This will cost less in achieving this mission.
“Within a few years we will see the first true prototype of a spaceship that will take us between worlds,” he says. “I think we’ll be on the moons of Mars by 2030 or so.”
Microwave thermal propulsion (Kevin Parkin)
The microwave thermal thruster using beamed propulsion is an excellent idea,” said Dr. Narayanan M. Komerath, a professor at Georgia Tech College of Engineering and a NASA Institute of Advanced Concepts Fellow. “[Kevin Parkin] picks the 140 GHz window, which apparently offers strong advantages in absorption by the materials that he uses in the propulsion system.
Well I think they should also try this technology in commercial flight. It would be cheaper and will benefits us all including our environment. Less carbon emission means less pollution…. What do you think?