NASA is working on Laser Propulsion System To Propel Spacecraft

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Could We Travel To Mars In 3 days Well NASA Might have a Solution?

Traditional propulsion system used in current spaceships use solid fuel which is burnt to propel the spaceship forward.We cannot travel so far in space [as we cannot refuel the spacecraft in space].But NASA might have found the new way out to solve the problem with NASA Laser Propulsion System.

The solution according to NASA is to use an array of lasers to propel the spacecraft.This type of new propulsion is called photonic propulsion as it uses concentrated photons [literally light]to propel the spacecraft in space.

“We will never reach even the nearest stars with our current propulsion technology in even 10 millennia, We have to radically rethink our strategy or give up our dreams of reaching the stars, or wait for technology that does not exist.” writes Physics Professor Philip Lubin of the University of California Santa Barbara in a research paper titled A Roadmap to Interstellar Flight.

Scientist Philip Lubin received the funding from NASA last year to study the possibility of photonic propulsion system to be used as propulsion system in the space adventure.

Also Read: NASA’S CURIOSITY ROVER DECIDES BY ITSELF WHAT TO SEARCH ON MARS

How the Heck It Works

in layman’s language:

  • Light is made up of particles called photons which travel at the extreme speed of about 299,792,458 m / s.
  • But they have relatively low as the mass of a photon is negligible.hence momentum is too small to count that’s about zero but they have energy.
  • But in photonic propulsion system array of high-intensity laser’s are used.[as light from laser do not deviate much.]
  • The energy of highly focused lasers, when bombarded with spacecraft, pushes it forward.[as there is no literally zero force stopping spacecraft from moving.]

Hence it makes spacecraft propel in space for a much larger time at greater speed.you can see the video below.

you can see the videos below.

Photonic propulsion works by pointing huge power array of lasers at reflective material like a solar sail.Although they have relatively low mass as the mass of the photon is negligible.hence momentum is too small to count that’s about zero but they have energy and momentum. They transfer a small amount of energy to the reflective surface when they hit it.In space with no opposing force, the consistent acceleration might push spacecraft to around 30% of the speed of light.After spacecraft launch from Earth using conventional rockets, it could unfurl a light sail which in turn will be hit by laser array on the ground to propel it in space.

 

Last but not least there are several problems in the way to achieve this type of propulsion in reality.It hard to even think about the size of laser array and required infrastructure which will be required to do this stuff.The major problem with this kind of system is it is about impossible to slow spacecraft once it achieves 30% speed of light.

It’s likely that this technology is decades away from to be used but it is step in right direction.

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