Ad Astra Rocket Company’s VASIMR® VX-200 rocket prototype demonstrated its highest power efficiency and performance so far in tests, which ended Friday November 19 at the company’s
At 200 kilowatts of power the plasma rocket delivers 5.7
Short for Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket, VASIMR® is a high-power plasma-based space propulsion technology being developed by Ad Astra that could provide far more efficient inspace transport than today’s chemical rockets. The company envisions an initial space test of the technology in late 2014, followed by commercial deployment shortly thereafter to greatly reduce the operational costs of maintaining an evolving space infrastructure, including space stations, satellites, lunar outposts and fuel depots in the Earth-Moon environment. Ultimately, VASIMR® engines could also greatly shorten robotic and human transit times for missions to Mars and beyond.