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Calling for a fission mission to Mars is great for

SpaceX&amp#39s dreams are bigger than an orbiting Martian space station or small research outpost on the surface. Last month, the company&amp#39s billionaire founder and CEO, Elon Musk, announced that aims to help establish a in the next 50 to 100 years. NASA is taking a multistep approach to its ultimate goal of putting boots on Mars.

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The pioneering Kilopower reactor could produce from one to 10 kilowatts of electrical power, continuously for 10 years or more. The average US household runs on five kilowatts. Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

Research for one version, the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR) draws on that for magnetically-confined fusion power (tokamak) for electricity generation, but here the plasma is deliberately leaked to give thrust. The system works most efficiently at low thrust (which can be sustained), with small plasma flow, but shorter high thrust operation is possible. It is very efficient, with 99% conversion of electric to kinetic energy, though only 70% is claimed for the short thrust firings. T

“It solves those issues and provides a constant supply of power regardless of where you are located on Mars,” Mason said. “Fission power could expand the possible landing sites on Mars to include the high northern latitudes, where ice may be present.”

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