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Mission to Mars (ion propulsion concept 1954)

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Ion Propulsion for Mars Expedition Spaceship

In 1954 Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger conceived an idea of a Mars expedition using ion propulsion.

A nuclear reactor would drive a turbine to provide electricity that would drive an ion engine using cesium propellant. This idea was shown in Walt a Disney's program broadcast on 4 December 1957. Notice Dr. Stuhlinger was holding a slide rule.

Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger was one of the 126 German scientists brought over to the United States after World War II. He passed away in Huntsville Alabama in 2008 at the age of 94.

Spaceship Characteristics
Crew Size: 20. Electric System: 23,000.00 average kW.
Gross mass: 660,000 kg (1,450,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 328,000 kg (723,000 lb).
Payload: 136,000 kg (299,000 lb).
Height: 46.00 m (150.00 ft).
Thrust: 490 N (110 lbf).
Specific impulse: 8,200 s.

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