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Fusion Rocket Could Take Us To Mars 171

New submitter imikem writes "University of Washington researchers and scientists at a Redmond-based space-propulsion company are building components of a fusion-powered rocket aimed to clear many of the hurdles that block deep space travel, including long times in transit, exorbitant costs and health risks. 'Using existing rocket fuels, it's nearly impossible for humans to explore much beyond Earth,' said lead researcher John Slough, a UW research associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics. 'We are hoping to give us a much more powerful source of energy in space that could eventually lead to making interplanetary travel commonplace.' 'The research team has developed a type of plasma that is encased in its own magnetic field. Nuclear fusion occurs when this plasma is compressed to high pressure with a magnetic field. The team has successfully tested this technique in the lab. Only a small amount of fusion is needed to power a rocket – a small grain of sand of this material has the same energy content as 1 gallon of rocket fuel.'"

Underground Water on Mars? 109

WaltonNews wrote in with a story about possible underground water on Mars. The article begins: "The Mars Express spacecraft, from the European Space Agency (ESA), has indicated to scientists that the dry atmosphere and surface on the planet Mars does not necessarily mean Mars is dry underneath the surface. In fact, a huge storehouse of water and carbon dioxide could be found in underground reservoirs."

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