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Laser propulsion: NASA's laser-powered spacecraft will fly to Mars in 72 hours - TomoNews

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SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA — NASA scientist Philip Lubin is working on perfecting laser technology that could propel a light spacecraft to Mars in as little as three days. In order for spacecraft to achieve faster speeds, Lubin proposes using an electromagnetic propulsion system that uses light and radiation, rather than the current fuel-based rocket propulsion system. Photonic propulsion is a theoretical system that uses the energy and momentum from photons to move objects through space. According to Wired, when photons from a laser array reflect off an object, their energy is translated into a push that's capable of moving objects like a spacecraft. The system would currently work best with robotic spacecraft. According to Lubin, a robotic probe with a thin reflective sail could travel to Mars in three days. On the other hand, a manned shuttle could reach Mars in a month using the laser-based system. He estimates that lasers could accelerate spacecraft to 30 percent the speed of light, which was previously unheard of. Using photonic propulsion, interstellar travel may be possible and sending a probe to Earth's closest star, Alpha Centauri, could take as little as 15 years, reported Space.com. In comparison, our current technology takes four to eight months to get to Mars. It took 37 years for the Voyager 1 spacecraft to reach the edge of our solar system. ----------------------------------------­--------------------- Welcome to TomoNews, where we animate the most entertaining news on the internets. Come here for an animated look at viral headlines, US news, celebrity gossip, salacious scandals, dumb criminals and much more! Subscribe now for daily news animations that will knock your socks off. Visit our official website for all the latest, uncensored videos: http://us.tomonews.net Check out our Android app: http://bit.ly/1rddhCj Check out our iOS app: http://bit.ly/1gO3z1f Get top stories delivered to your inbox everyday: http://bit.ly/tomo-newsletter Stay connected with us here: Facebook http://www.facebook.com/TomoNewsUS Twitter @tomonewsus http://www.twitter.com/TomoNewsUS Google+ http://plus.google.com/+TomoNewsUS/ Instagram @tomonewsus http://instagram.com/tomonewsus -~-~~-~~~-~~-~- Please watch: "Crying dog breaks the internet’s heart — but this sad dog story has a happy ending" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4prKTN9bYQc -~-~~-~~~-~~-~-
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Text Comments (138)
Hoa Ha (8 days ago)
Power chemy ẻrnery in Marz only china give hnowhow
Robert Szymanski (2 months ago)
I saw a documentary about space travel. This one scientist built a concave mirror with a hole in the center. He puts it over a 40 foot rod..then fires a high power laser on the mirror. The curved mirror focused the light to the focus point making a strobe flashing effect and actually flew up and off the 40 foot rod! This is a major break through in space flight! I came across a website " Will you let yer grandchildren ride a spaceship powered by a laser beam?"...
jpjthunder (2 months ago)
I thought light doesn’t have momentum
jpjthunder (2 months ago)
Nvm it does just no mass
The Ryanbros (5 months ago)
court Hess (8 months ago)
its called a parachute my dude
Sopon Charaswat (9 months ago)
@ An explanation of The Internal Thrust Propulsion System : https://youtu.be/rfIt5_BJmcE
ramnet & spacenet (9 months ago)
----------------)|. ✨
What if this kind of spaceship hit some space debri?
First Name Last Name (1 year ago)
Great now send this shit to Proxima B so aliens can post videos like:HUMAN UFO CRASHING INTO OUR PLANET MUST SEE!
Nic (1 year ago)
Cant tell if robot or very exaggerated voice lmao
Dogizmaster (1 year ago)
If you can't slow down, you can't land safely. Unless they build a laser on mars too, this would only be useful for fly-bys.
Your best Friend (1 year ago)
They should just design a craft that uses a laser sail and hydrogen ramjet at the same time
Johannes Ekman (1 year ago)
Is it unreasonable to use a photonic laser thruster when launching objects into space from the surface of the earth? Would the atmosphere absorb too much of the laser beam to make it practical?
Joshua Slowpoke (1 year ago)
By that logic, couldn't they just invent a laser thruster? One that would actually be on the main spacecraft? Doesn't firing a laser also exert force on the firing mechanism? Newton's third law should apply here...
Ragnarok Sora (1 year ago)
+Joshua Slowpoke Mars is a good practice run. But I don't see anything long term there but that's just my opinion.
Joshua Slowpoke (1 year ago)
+Ragnarok Sora Good point. If we want to go interstellar, we'll have to know where we're heading first. It kinda reminds me of a Nintendo game, oddly enough. On Pikmin 3, when some random extraterrestrial species of tiny, frugivorous hominid starts running low on food, they sent out scout probes to find edible (for them) life. The place they decided to go was apparently post-apocalyptic Earth, presumably. Point is, before we reach the stars, we may want to know what we're doing it for. Until then, we have the ability to make space stations, and people are thinking up ways to mine asteroids as we speak (I've even heard of lasers that can act as a realistic tractor beam, if scaled up from what we have so far), so I guess the next step may be interplanetary. And if we have a good colony on Mars, the sun may not completely destroy earthly life as soon...
Ragnarok Sora (1 year ago)
+Joshua Slowpoke there really is no easy way to travel. If we are going to travel in interstellar fashion, we are going to need more than just using star wars referencing. I propose to have a vessels that only optimizing on speed and use micro size camera to scout out possible planets that can support life. Once we find one we could get their quickly and no slow voyage.
Joshua Slowpoke (1 year ago)
+Ragnarok Sora I agree, and my viewpoint has changed a bit since the time I posted that comment. The only truly easy way to store enough energy for a laser rocket to be logical for relativistic travel might be something known as an "Antimatter-Matter Gigaelectron-volt gamma ray laser photon rocket." And to create something like that, we'd first need an effective and efficient means of producing and storing large amounts of antiprotons from other sources of power, which we are terrible at in modern times. Antimatter-matter capacitors aren't really a thing yet, perhaps because of humanity's immaturity as a species.
Ragnarok Sora (1 year ago)
that would still require energy. and energy actually creates more mass.
Ben Jackbag Mank (1 year ago)
How do you slow down? Or is this only useful for sending hyper fast bullets to mars?
Joachim Köppel (26 days ago)
Revenge for "War of the Worlds" ;-)
ShadowWolfTJC (2 years ago)
Sure, the spacecraft has far less mass, but I wonder how much power is going to be spent pointing lasers at the spacecraft? Will it be cheaper than doing it the old tried and true way, like they did during the Cold War years?
Mr Techystuff (2 years ago)
Aliens at alpha Centauri are gonna think it's a biscuit and there it goes
Steve M (2 years ago)
What will they dream up next?
Rads (2 years ago)
here's a way for the spacecraft to slowdown. It uses the gravity of a large object like a star or mars. It simply uses thrusters to slow down enough for a body to capture it. At least that's my thought.
Giovanni Trotta (1 year ago)
Rads Per Second - Yeah but then you'd need to accelerate to "escape" (in this case you don't really escape, you just get yourself captured by a planet) the star FoI. happy new year btw
Rads (1 year ago)
I was thinking more along the lines of a star not mars.
Giovanni Trotta (1 year ago)
SoI is the short which stands for sphere of influence
Giovanni Trotta (1 year ago)
but if your speed was enough to escape Earth SoI there's no way Mars, which is a lot less massive than Our Planet, could stop it.
Cartoon Mikeez (2 years ago)
What if we sent something to Alpha Centauri. And in 15 years it arrived, nailed their planet so hard at 30 percent the speed of light I assume? And it wrecks a town or city or some kind of life. And they think they have just been attacked by us? Christ, we are such dicks, we never stop to think. :(
Andy Casbo (2 years ago)
my spacecraft can do 1 persecs an hour. i can reach alpha centauri in 1 hours and 10 minutes. Milenium falcon did 820 persecs /hour
utkarsh shukla (2 years ago)
what if we use neutrinos instead of photons??
Justin Nicholas (2 years ago)
Cool, I'm jealous of the people not born yet.
Goodnight Left Side (1 year ago)
Ninosław Ciszewski Don't be, Nino. It's all bullshit anyway. Space is as fake as all these cgi images they're giving you. HAHAHA
Ragnarok Sora (1 year ago)
Mr Techystuff (2 years ago)
Lmao my grandkids :(
CT - 7598 (2 years ago)
Damn that's great!
Rayheat (2 years ago)
Caution, lasers! Caution, lasers! Caution, lasers! Ahaha that Freeman's mind episode.
mo ad (2 years ago)
How to slow down?
J Johnson (2 years ago)
That's like the thing that Count Dooku used in the clone wars to fly around
Mad Lad (2 years ago)
Amazing! To alpha Centauri! I hope this works
CT - 7598 (2 years ago)
Me too.
medorsal (2 years ago)
How do you intend to keep the emission satellites in place? If they are emitting photons with momentum they have an opposite force trying to move the satellites away, right?. Of course, if you use propellers in the satellites you will still have the advantage of not moving the propeller with the spacecraft, less inertia to accelerate.
Carl Lelandt (1 year ago)
One of the problems was slowing down. My idea would be to develop a similar system, a laser deceleration/guidance station or unit to be located at the destination location. Of course, it would probably have to be transported by other, more conventional (slower) means. The destination station/unit would have capacity for the laser return of the craft. So a laser deceleration/receiving technology needs to exist at both ends of the journey. Very cool. So now we just have to deal with the ergonomics, and how to peel or scrape the astronauts off the back of their seats, not to mention, the problem of little space rocks and particulates. Hmm.
mark warlick (2 years ago)
That's what the Crazy Eddie probe did in the Larry Niven book, "The Mote In God's Eye". I say we launch a 220lb probe directly at Mars at 30% of the speed of light and see if that will reactivate some plate tectonics and vulcanism. Anybody know how big a wallop that would be?
Stoney Stark (2 years ago)
You know, Nasa, you won't have an EXCUSE anymore NOT to go to the Moon . This laZer technology would put the Moon at what? Like AN HOUR or so to get there? You better get your mission proposals in now, Trump will surely help fund those missions and your agency to boost America. WOOP! TRUMP FOR PREZ!
Lömsk Häst (6 months ago)
I genuine hope that was a joke
sharko121 (8 months ago)
Trump isn't that bad the media just talks shit making him sound worse
RonioFOX (1 year ago)
you saw the future :)
Lucas Batistussi (2 years ago)
Trump? Sincerely: u are fucking dumb!
Stoney Stark (2 years ago)
The China National Space Administration must be so jelly
Stoney Stark (2 years ago)
That is a HUGE mile stone. WOW. 30 Percent the speed of light is nothing to sneeze at. ENTER WAYLAND CORP
Ethan Clemons (2 years ago)
30 percent the speed of light is awesome but how do you plan to slow down once you reach your target. Your not gonna slow down your gonna keep that momentum.
Anton Krivo (2 years ago)
We may have to slow down the spacecraft with some external infrastructure. I think it may be possible with a set of large toroidal conductive coil stations (each one grounded to a large mass, to absorb the recoil shock). The coil stations can be sequentially activated, with each individual circuit sending a pulse of electric current at the moment when a spacecraft is detected passing through. If enough current is sent through a properly-designed coil, the current will generate a precisely directed high density magnetic flux which will remove some of the spacecraft's momentum (or incinerate it). Repeat until velocity is zero. If we design the spacecraft to be non-destructively affected by a brief exposure to a powerful external magnetic field, it may work. It's course adjustment thrusters must also be able to perfectly aim through the inner part of each ring-shaped coil station. If all design parameters were implemented correctly, the craft's velocity should be manageable once it reaches the last deceleration coil.
Mad Lad (2 years ago)
I have no idea! I propose a small retro thruster or a retro laser beam
Acapulco gold (2 years ago)
Thank you NASA
Donovan DeCoster (2 years ago)
CT - 7598 (2 years ago)
But it can move things. Photons vibrate and can push things even though it has no mass.
andres de la vega (2 years ago)
What if the laser cuts the earth in half!!!!
gojewla (2 years ago)
+andres de la vega Then NASA's gonna have some explainin to do!
MilkyMalkum (2 years ago)
+andres de la vega not even slightly possible.
WhyHelloThere (2 years ago)
30% speed of mother fucking light??
EbintQ (2 years ago)
That's a fucking lie
CT - 7598 (2 years ago)
Walter Cash (2 years ago)
Thats what i call Space Future.
but it has to be 3 days from yhe time that mars and earth align or else it will not work and this only happens every 2 year, ey but fuck it, they probably already thought of it
MannyFresco (2 years ago)
MannyFresco (1 year ago)
North Korea is about the same go there and let's see you keep your computer loaded with anime porn.
Ragnarok Sora (1 year ago)
soviet union, soviet union, soviet union!!
Ragnarok Sora (1 year ago)
soviet union, soviet union, soviet union!!
Nick Katt (2 years ago)
+Manny Fresco what?
MannyFresco (2 years ago)
+Nick Katt hate on hater lol. Thanks for telling us the truth. Hi Hater BYE HATER
E. M. Fisher (2 years ago)
Finally we can have Mars tourism
Hinz Zimmler (2 years ago)
Hauser: Get your @ss to mars. Douglas: two weeks, two weeks.
asher taz (2 years ago)
LASERS , dawg!
WeenieDonut (2 years ago)
The Martian (A movie) is soooooo wrong lol.
MWiatrak (2 years ago)
+Andy Vs Games what do you mean?
BlueDot (2 years ago)
haha looks like a tie fighter wing from starwars
MilkyMalkum (2 years ago)
+FriendlyBerserker i didnt even see that@
Vincent2wice (2 years ago)
Soooo.. I'm guessing UFO'S have has this technology for millions of years
Vincent2wice (2 years ago)
The lead NASA Scientist looks like the OXY-Clean infomercial guy. (RIP)
Sharpe Tutor (2 years ago)
Some time from now I'll be sitting on my holiday home on Mars soon.
Goodnight Left Side (1 year ago)
Daniel Tutor Besides, if you really want to live on Mars just move to Devon Island in Canada...
Goodnight Left Side (1 year ago)
Daniel Tutor Besides, if you really want to live on Mars just move to Devon Island in Canada...
Goodnight Left Side (1 year ago)
Daniel Tutor The only thing NASA is sending to Mars are your imaginations. HAHAHA
C H O P P E R (2 years ago)
I like your thinking!!
Hinz Zimmler (2 years ago)
Or the laser will be used to black mail the world into surrendering to a super villains rule.
INFINITY (2 years ago)
If the make to Alpha Centauri maybe they can find the Robinsons
hypostatis (2 years ago)
Lordofhavoc (2 years ago)
Slight Problem. This thing can't slow down....
Destruction_one8 (2 months ago)
with the force of gravity and a the suitable angel, it can
Aeroheath 2828 (8 months ago)
Obviously just send out the parachute! Wait... does it even have one?
Ragnarok Sora (1 year ago)
just need a parashut
Ragnarok Sora (1 year ago)
+Cartoon Mikeez i have a theory on how breaks might work
Rads (2 years ago)
um... GRAVITY!!!!!!
Phantom Bloodlust (2 years ago)
yay exploration
gamefreak is a scam (2 years ago)
damn daniel
Hinz Zimmler (2 years ago)
Don't worry. Commander Shepard will defeat the Reapers.
TheOfficial ALIMINATOR (2 years ago)
+N7 Reaper back at it again wit dem laser propulsion vans
N7 Reaper (2 years ago)
No please no
ItsJustTomHe (2 years ago)
ItsJustTomHe (2 years ago)
ItsJustTomHe (2 years ago)
Kanna Kamui (2 years ago)
+TommyTom Hexx Gear
Obi Wan Cannoli (2 years ago)
Alpha Centauri in our lifetime? The future is now.

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