China’s Tiangong space station is built with technology such that the time to go to Mars can be drastically reduced. With the help of ion thrusters, the fuel consumption to get to Mars will also be reduced. The South China Morning Post report says the first Tianhe space station module uses this technology.
Why is this better?
It has 4 ion thrusters. These accelerate the ions using electricity for propulsion. It was said in the report that this module may soon become a spacecraft carrying humans with this technology for the first time in history. Ionic drives are many times better than chemical propulsion.
According to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, it takes 4 tons of rocket fuel to keep the International Space Station in orbit for a year. The ion thruster would only require 400 kg for this time. With the help of this, Mars can be reached in 39 days, not in 6-8 months. China wants to use this technology not only for space stations, but also for groups of satellites and nuclear-powered spacecraft.
This technology is decades old, but until now, due to sufficient thrust, the lives of astronauts and satellites were threatened. Now CAS has been using it continuously for 11 months recently. With the help of the magnetic field, it is ensured that the particles do not damage the motor. At the same time, a special ceramic material protects against radiation.