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Muslim woman scientist might have just discovered the rocket to reach Mars!

Inventions 21 Feb 2021
Today's Focus

Mankind has a never-ending curiosity for the unseen and unknown. Charging with this curious mind, man has sailed to the moon and even sent a spaceship to Mars! Space agencies like NASA and the ESA even have rolling plans to reach out to other distant planets. One of the main obstacles of these plans is rocket technology or more specifically rockets that have unlimited energy for transportation. Currently, only four space agencies from the USA, EU, Russia, and India have successfully launched and reached Mars. But due to the chemical energy that fuels their rockets the voyage used to take months to complete the mission.

Muslim woman scientist Dr. Fatima Ebrahimi from Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) under the US Department of Energy, has a recent breakthrough on a rocket design that is 10 times more powerful than the contemporary rockets technology. This supposed rocket has the potential to reach a great distance than the rockets in use now. This breakthrough was recently published in the reputed Journal of Plasma Physics.

How does this technology work?

The rockets in use in recent times get the necessary energy for launch and to reach the maximum velocity from the emission of electrically charged gas particles (or plasma) burning the chemical fuel. The rocket that Dr. Fatima designed would use the energy from the emission of magnetically charged gas particles. This process is seen naturally in the sun when the magnetic lines of force converge and then separate and again reconnect and liberate loads of energy. A tokamak is a machine that uses this technology and can produce this amount of energy.

Dr. Fatima says, “I had this idea while I was thinking about the similarities between the exhaust from cars and the high-velocity emission from the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) at PPPL while sitting on a deck in 2017.” NSTX is a nuclear fusion facility in the USA and the Tokamak at NSTX produces fusion energy on Earth.

What is fusion energy and how it is incorporated into rocket technology?

Fusion energy is the unlimited source of energy for the stars and it is created when the freely moving atoms within plasma get fused. Dr. Fatima has actually found a way to use this energy to fuel the rocket.

Dr. Fatima says, “Tokamak produces magnetic bubbles (known as plasmoid) which are emitted with an astonishing velocity of around 20 km/hour when operates in full capacity. This amount of energy is sufficient to provide the necessary thrust for launch.” In the simulation, this technology by Dr. Fatima potentially has achieved 10 times more velocity than the usual rockets. This enormous velocity will enable this rocket to voyage for a larger distance. Primary tests are over and now Dr. Fatima and the team is preparing for making the prototype.