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How To Fly To Mars And Beyond In Weeks Instead Of Months

Scientist Presents Paper On Thermonuclear Propulsion At Langley

Theoretical physicist Friedwardt Winterberg presented, "To Mars in Weeks by Thermonuclear Micro-Bomb Propulsion," at the Reid Conference Center at NASA's Langley Research Center on Tuesday.

In his lecture, Winterberg discussed the rewards and challenges of a nuclear bomb propulsion system – the preferred candidate for an impulse-high thrust system in spacecraft. His second approach to interstellar travel would be mastering the production and storing of antimatter that could lead to matter-antimatter laser propulsion. The first system could yield speeds about one-fifth the velocity of light. The second and more difficult would be closer to the speed of light or 186,000 miles per second.

Winterberg is a theoretical physicist and research professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. With more than 260 publications and three books, he is known for his research in general relativity, Planck scale physics, nuclear fusion and plasmas. His work in nuclear rocket propulsion earned him the 1979 Hermann Oberth Gold Medal of the Wernher von Braun International Space Flight Foundation and a 1981 citation by the Nevada legislature.

He is also an honorary member of the German Aerospace Society Lilienthal-Oberth. He received his Master of Science degree from the University of Frankfurt and his doctorate in physics from the Max Planck Institute as a student of Werner Heisenberg -- the German theoretical physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1932 for the creation of quantum mechanics.

FMI: http://shemesh.larc.nasa.gov/Lectures/

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