||03-02-2010 08:40 AM
Good news for all you Star Trek fans that hope for manned space flight to mars
Google variable specific impulse magnetoplasma rocket. Developed by M.I.T., this rocket is to be the centerpiece of NASA's rockets. It can take NASA astronauts to mars in 39 days as opposed to 6 months with chemical rockets. It's to be used by NASA on the international space station in 2011 to boost it into a more stable orbit. It will also be used to ferry cargo to the moon and mars more cheaply than current technology, and at a fraction of the cost. No more need to carry several tons of fuel to get from point A to B.
To me this opens space travel up for commercial use. Helium-3 used in fusion is abundant on the moon, and many asteroids are made of valuable iron and nickel. I am starting to feel Star Trek is here sooner than we think.