- The Texas-based Ad Astra Rocket company, a member of NASA’s 12 Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextStep), boasted their VASIMR engine can get humans to Mars in 39 days
- Over a three year period, NASA will give Ad Astra around $10 million dollars to fully develop a new version of the VASIMR engine to be flight ready. With the successful demonstrations of their new VX-200-SS prototype, able to fire continuously for more than 100 hours, NASA will consider employing the propulsion system on their future excursion to Mars.
- NASA said in a statement that other commercial partners such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Dynetics Inc were in place to explore other possibilities on Mars.
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