Video on conceptual Mars mission using 3 VASIMR engines
For humans to travel safely to Mars and beyond,
it will be important to make the trip as quickly as possible and thereby reduce the crew's exposure to weightlessness and space
radiation. With today's chemical rockets, a round-trip to Mars would take over two years, with much of that time
spent waiting for the right planetary alignment to return. More rapid transits are possible with a VASIMR®
propulsion system powered by a nuclear-electric generator. With 12 megawatts of electrical power, a ship could reach
Mars in less than four months and with 200 megawatts of power the outbound trip could be as short as 39 days.