A UK company is preparing a nuclear fusion space engine that can cut the travel time to Mars in half and enable missions outside the solar system.
The British aerospace company, Pulsar Fusion, is working on a nuclear fusion engine that, if all goes according to plan, could be tested for the first time in 2025 and launched into orbit in 2027. If successful, it could not only shorten the time they last trips to Mars in half but also allow us to reach any corner of our solar system quickly. Pulsar has just carried out tests of its technology at the Westcott Space Cluster propulsion test facility in Aylesbury.
Its CEO, Richard Dinan, has assured that: “This is a truly revolutionary moment that takes place on British soil and that could be the first steps to transform not only modern space travel, but also the way in which this planet consumes his energy.” Dinan’s company made international headlines last November when it successfully tested a hybrid space engine fueled in part by plastic waste. The ‘green’ engine, as Pulsar calls it, is powered by a mix of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) — commonly used to make plastic bottles, cutting boards or pipes — and nitrous oxide oxidizer.
Dinan, assured at the time in statements to the British newspaper Express, that this type of green engine is ideal for “taking people from Earth to space, for moving satellites in space and for space tourism. It is powerful enough how to do it.”
An ambitious nuclear fusion engine
Now the British company is taking an even more ambitious step by trying to build a nuclear fusion space engine. The idea behind this type of engine is to try to recreate the process that takes place inside stars and by which two atoms, due to high temperatures and the pressure of magnetic forces, unite their nucleus, releasing enormous amounts of energy. Until now, these types of engines only exist theoretically and no one has managed to put them on their feet. In fact, not even the experimental ITER project, paralyzed by the French authorities at the moment, which has investments of billions, has managed to generate this type of energy.