Engineers are exploring revolutionary new technologies that could help us traverse the Solar System in much less time
Because of the orbital paths Mars and Earth take around the Sun, the distance between them varies between 54.6 million km and 401 million km.
Missions to Mars are launched when the two planets make a close approach. During one of these approaches, it takes nine months to get to Mars using chemical rockets – the form of propulsion in widespread use.
That’s a long time for anyone to spend travelling. But engineers, including those at the US space agency (Nasa), are working with industrial partners to develop faster methods of getting us there.
So what are some of the most promising technologies?
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