Manual The Mars Plasma Environment

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  2. Energetic ions in the close environment of Mars and particle shadowing by the planet | Nature
  3. Changes in the Plasma Environment in Three Directions
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He transport in the Martian upper atmosphere with an induced magnetic field V. Shematovich , Dmitry V. New insights into the structure and energetics of the Martian ionosphere Christopher M. References Publications referenced by this paper.

Distributions of hot oxygen for Venus and Mars Richard R. Charge exchange near Mars: The solar wind absorption and energetic neutral atom production Esa J. Kallio , Janet G. Luhmann , Sergey Vasilyevich Barabash.

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Dubinin , Rejean J. Grard , S. Barabash , Rickard N. Verigin , N.

Energetic ions in the close environment of Mars and particle shadowing by the planet | Nature

The difference is in more than just time. Carrying all this material will require a revolutionary rocket technology. The Saturn V was the largest rocket ever built. It consumed an enormous amount of fuel in explosive chemical reactions that propelled the Apollo spacecraft into orbit.

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After reaching orbit, Apollo ejected the empty fuel tanks and turned on its own chemical rockets that used even more fuel to get to the moon. It took nearly a million gallons of various fuels just to send a few people on a day trip to our nearest extraterrestrial body.

So how could we send a settlement to Mars, which is more than times farther away than the moon? The Saturn-Apollo combination could deliver only the mass equivalent of one railroad boxcar to the moon; it would take dozens of those rockets just to build a small house on Mars. But once in space, a new fuel-efficient rocket technology can take over: plasma rockets. Plasma rockets are a modern technology that transforms fuel into a hot soup of electrically charged particles, known as plasma, and ejects it to push a spacecraft. Using plasma rockets instead of the traditional chemical rockets can reduce total in-space fuel usage by 90 percent.

Changes in the Plasma Environment in Three Directions

That means we could deliver 10 times the amount of cargo using the same fuel mass. NASA mission planners are already looking into using plasma rocket transport vehicles for ferrying cargo between Earth and Mars. The main downside to plasma rockets is their low thrust. Believe it or not, a Hall thruster would take many years of continuous pushing to reach Mars. Thanks to its revolutionary fuel efficiency, plasma rockets have enabled NASA to perform missions that would otherwise not be possible with chemical rockets.

Just recently, the Dawn mission demonstrated the potential of plasma rockets by becoming the first spacecraft to orbit two different extraterrestrial bodies.

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  • The plasma Environment of Mars;
  • A mission to Mars could make its own oxygen, thanks to plasma technology.

While the future of plasma rockets is bright, the technology still has unsolved problems. To do this, we need to understand how a plasma rocket works.


The rocket creates a plasma by injecting electrical energy into a gaseous fuel, stripping negatively charged electrons from the positively charged ions. Buy eBook. Buy Hardcover. Buy Softcover. FAQ Policy. About this book Mars sits very exposed to the solar wind and, because it is a small planet, has but a weak hold on its atmosphere. Show all. Plasma Morphology at Mars. Show next xx. Read this book on SpringerLink.