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what is (in your opinion) the best choice for a spacecraft propulsion system to get to mars?

what do you think will be the best propulsion system to get to different planets and explore the solar system? you could include points about:

 Energy efficiency
 How well does it do its job
 Safety
 Does it do its job well, .e.g. something that accelerates to x% of c but takes 1 year to do it does not do its job well for interplanetary travel.
 Economy (how much will it cost)

this will be used as primary research into my Extended Project work for college titled : "the feasibility of current and future spacecraft propulsion systems for interplanetary manned travel"

can you please talk about system in development/current or that are feasible in the near future.

any help is greatly appreciated thanks!

Not exactly my field, but from what I've read and heard, using dark energy (once we discover what it is, and how to use it) will be the ultimate best... or as an alternative, use gravitational energy fields.   We might also use magnetic energy fields.

Dropping down to more practical stuff, we could use what the Startrek Enterprise spaceship uses, namely matter/anti-matter propulsion.  (very efficient as it converts 100% of the matter to energy).
If you're looking for current day technology, a combination of chemical rocket for launching, then ion drive thereafter.
You can decide the efficiencies and safety of each of the above recommendations... also I have no idea what is in current development, as I don't work at Edwards Air Force base or the "Skunk Works" in the California desert.
ALL forms of space travel will be very very very expensive. There is no cheap trip to outer space, until you are able to "beam me up, Scotty".
Clear Skies,

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Tom Whiting


I can answer most questions about space flight and planetary exploration from an astronomy standpoint, but not from a computer or electronics standpoint. No astrology questions please, or questions about alleged UFO identifications.


Astronomy, my main catagory, has been my hobby and pastime for over 50 years. Taught astronomy and meteorology at the University level for over 13 years.

President- Erie County Mobile Observers Group for over 15 years. Also on astronomy catagory for over 8 years.

Astronomy Technology Today and also wrote the "Over Erie Skies" column in our local newspaper for 11 years.

BS Metallurgical Engineering Grove City College, PA Master's Degree, Gannon University, Erie, PA Also retired USAF pilot, 20 years.

Awards and Honors
Discoverer of the mini-coathanger asterism in Ursa Minor; also the mini-dipper asterism up in the bowl of the Little Dipper.

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