Scientists have found a unique way to fly to Mars in 26 days
The use of airbrushed solar sails for traveling to Mars and interstellar space can significantly reduce the time and fuel required for such missions. The study was published in the journal Acta Astronautica, writes Universe Today.
Dr. René Heller, an astrophysicist at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research and co-author of the study, explained that solar sails have the potential to rapidly deliver small payloads (up to a kilogram) across the solar system.
“Compared to conventional chemical propulsion, which can bring hundreds of tons of payload to low-Earth orbit and deliver a large fraction of that to the Moon, Mars, and beyond, this sounds ridiculously small. But the key value of solar sail technology is speed,” the scientist added.
Unlike conventional rockets that rely on fuel, solar sails use sunlight to generate energy.
As part of the study, the researchers modeled the flight to Mars of a solar sail made of airbrush weighing up to 1 kg and measuring 104 square meters. To do this, the researchers used two flight paths from Earth. One of the methods resulted in reaching the Red Planet in 126 days, while the other – in just 26 days.
By the way, a theory was recently voiced that only 22 people may be enough to colonize Mars, but they need to have certain personality types.