Proton Powered Spacecraft

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Nasa engineers have revealed new details of a radical new propulsion system that could slash the time it takes for spacecraft to reach interstellar space.

The system would interact with particles released by the sun, repelling protons to create thrust and achieve unprecedented speeds.

Researchers say this could bring spacecraft to the heliopause in just 10 years – a feat that took the Voyager craft 35 years.

They hope to test their idea by 2020.

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 Nasa engineers have begun testing the concept for a new propulsion system that could slash the time it takes for spacecraft to reach interstellar space. The system would interact with particles released by the sun, repelling protons to create thrust and achieve unprecedented speeds
Nasa engineers have begun testing the concept for a new propulsion system that could slash the time it takes for spacecraft to reach interstellar space. The system would interact with particles released by the sun, repelling protons to create thrust and achieve unprecedented speeds

HOW THE E-SAIL WOULD WORK 

A slowly spinning spacecraft would deploy 10 to 20 electrically charged aluminium wires to create a massive ‘E-Sail.’

Each wire would be just one millimetre thick but extend roughly 12 and a half miles in length, almost the equivalent of 219 football fields.

The sun releases protons and electrons into the solar wind.

Positively charged wires would repel the protons, creating the thrust. 

The spacecraft will also have an electron gun to discharge electrons, allowing the craft to maintain its positive charge.

This system could reach the edge of our solar system, the heliopause, in just 10 years, researchers estimate.  

‘We could do the same type of mission as Voyager but within 10 or 12 years,’ Bruce Wiegmann, and engineer in Marshall’s Advanced Concepts Office and the principal investigator for the E-Sail, told theBBC.

 ‘We could get to Pluto in five or six years, half the time of the recent Dawn mission, and Jupiter in two years.’

The proposed concept is called the Heliopause Electrostatic Rapid Transit System (Herts) E-Sail, and works without built-in propellant.

Instead, the E-Sail would be boosted by solar wind to reach the heliopause – the edge of our solar system.

A slowly spinning spacecraft would deploy 10 to 20 electrically charged aluminium wires to create a massive ‘E-Sail.’

About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).