China’s Tiangong space station is being built with such technology that the time to go to Mars can be greatly reduced. With the help of ion thrusters, the fuel consumption in going to Mars will also be reduced. The South China Morning Post reports that the space station’s first module Tianhe is using this technology.
Why is it better?
It has 4 ion thrusters. These accelerate ions by using electricity for propulsion. It has been said in the report that this module may soon become a spacecraft carrying
According to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, it takes 4 tons of rocket fuel to keep the International Space Station in orbit for a year. The ion thruster would require only 400 kg for this time. With the help of this, Mars can be reached in 39 days, not in 6-8 months. China wants to use this technology not only for space stations but also for satellite groups and nuclear-powered spacecraft.
This technology is decades old, but until now due to sufficient amount of thrust, life of astronauts and satellites were threatened. Now CAS has used it continuously for 11 months recently. With the help of magnetic field, it is ensured that the particles do not cause any damage to the engine. At the same time, a special ceramic material protects against radiation.