Learn about innovations in rocket technology that could change the way humans explore space in this video excerpt from NOVA scienceNOW: "Can We Make It to Mars?" Correspondent Jake Ward looks at the hazards of long-term space travel, the limitations of chemical rockets, and new kinds of rockets that are faster and more efficient. Astrophysicist and former astronaut Franklin Chang-Díaz explains his work on VASIMR, a rocket that directs hot plasma through a magnetic nozzle for propulsion. A plasma rocket could make a round-trip flight to Mars in just five months (compared to 2.5 years with a conventional rocket) and would transform space exploration.
This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.
Visit the program page here.