New and Improved Antimatter Spaceship for Mars Missions
Ummm, make of this what you want, I just don’t think it will work at all. Oh and no we don’t me antimatter drives such as those that Star Trek go on about, i.e. there are no dilitium crystals!! 🙂 Still though it does sound more sci-fi than fact. Take a look at the full article [here]. Though I do like the last few paragraphs which actually talk about how feasible this might be:
“A rough estimate to produce the 10 milligrams of positrons needed for a human Mars mission is about 250 million dollars using technology that is currently under development,” said Smith. This cost might seem high, but it has to be considered against the extra cost to launch a heavier chemical rocket (current launch costs are about $10,000 per pound) or the cost to fuel and make safe a nuclear reactor. “Based on the experience with nuclear technology, it seems reasonable to expect positron production cost to go down with more research,” added Smith.
Another challenge is storing enough positrons in a small space. Because they annihilate normal matter, you can’t just stuff them in a bottle. Instead, they have to be contained with electric and magnetic fields. “We feel confident that with a dedicated research and development program, these challenges can be overcome,” said Smith.