NASA Unveils New Rocket Engine That Makes Deep Space Exploration Possible

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It must be admitted that since Man walked on the Moon, space exploration has been somewhat at a standstill. Not that the space agencies lack ambition: when it’s not one who plans to install colonies on our satellite by 2030, it’s the other who announces that Mars will host its first autonomous city within 20 years. But what about what lies beyond these borders, which already seem almost unreachable?

This question, of course, NASA is also asking. But travel to deep space is simply impossible at the moment, and for a simple reason: we don’t have the technology to take us that far, either in terms of reactors or fuel storage. But that could soon change. The US space agency is already working on solutions to these problems, such as a nuclear-powered spacecraft capable of taking us to Mars in just 45 days.

NASA Unveils Revolutionary Rocket Engine That Could Change Everything

Today, a new technology could also revolutionize space travel. Called RDRE, for “rotating detonation rocket engine”, it is, as its name suggests, an engine using detonations to propel its rocket. In the same way that a wave propagates through matter, this engine generates thrust from explosions.

Related: NASA Shares Final Mars Images From InSight Mission

This technology has two major advantages. First, it requires less fuel to travel the same distance. Then, even more promising, it generates much more thrust than current engines. Combine these two elements, and you get the ability to travel much farther in space. Next step for NASA: build a life-size version of this engine. And maybe, one day, use it to push back the current frontiers.

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