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Jun 9, 2021

If We Mix Jet Fuel Using Shockwaves, We Can Get to Mars Faster

Posted by in category: space travel

A lesson in fluid dynamics.


Could astronauts surf to Mars assisted by a hypersonic shockwave? A new paper in the Journal of Fluid Dynamics suggests it’s a more likely scenario than we think, combining traditional propulsion with a shockwave method for mixing fuel ratios to reach their full explosive potential.

In the new paper, researchers from the University of Southern California investigate the way applying a shockwave helps or hinders how the “scalars,” or different fluids, can mix effectively. Take a leisurely swirl of oxygen and fuel and you might only reach regular supersonic speeds. But add the Nutribullet impact of a shockwave and the oxygen-fuel smoothie could carry you at five times or more the speed of sound, reaching the hypersonic range.

🛰 Space is a trip. Let’s explore it together.

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