Dr. Ben Longmier and his team from the University of Michigan have traveled to Fairbanks, Alaska to play a small part in a much larger push to revolutionize space travel and exploration.
The team plans to use helium balloons to send components of a new type of rocket engine to an altitude of over 30 kilometers, above 99% of Earth’s atmosphere. The purpose is to test these components within the harsh environment of space. While astronauts train to live and work in zero gravity, or to move around in bulky space suits, these would-be space explorers are preparing to negotiate some of Earth’s harshest environments.
Once they launch their payload, they have to retrieve it wherever it comes down in Alaska’s vast snowy wilderness. The idea they are pursuing is nothing short of revolutionary. It’s a type of rocket that promises far greater gas mileage than other rockets, and enough power to reach distant targets. It runs on the same fuel that nature uses, literally, to power the universe: plasma.
Watch Cosmic Journeys : Plasma Rockets & Solar Storms
YouTube Category: Science & Tech Documentary Nature
Directed by: Thomas Lucas
Produced by: Thomas Lucas
Licence: Standard YouTube Licence