"SEP systems, in other words, could become the cargo ship of deep-space missions."

Technological breakthroughs may soon change space propulsion

#Space

Mon, Jul 10th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to Seeker, we might be on the cusp of technological breakthroughs on how we fly through space. Reportedly, new technology will allow humans to reach further destinations faster while lugging around much more weight than before using SEP (solar electric propulsion). No mention of the EM drive, though. Is that still being debated?

Cassady put things in perspective. “Today we can land one metric ton on the surface of Mars; for a human mission we need to land 80 metric tons of supplies and equipment,” he said. “Mars missions will also send humans much farther than ever before. This combination of heavier payloads combined with the need to travel over greater distances drives us to seek a solution that takes advantage of strategic logistics planning.”

He added that the best approach might be similar to the way that military deployments are conducted today, where heavy equipment, supplies, and other logistical items are pre-deployed by large cargo ships. Then, once the equipment and habitats are in place, soldiers follow by faster air transport. SEP systems, in other words, could become the cargo ship of deep-space missions.

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