Mathematicians find the most efficient way to travel to Mars

The Red Planet is so full of charms that we here at Mega Curious have a special space dedicated only to news about Mars. When it comes to colonizing the neighboring planet, one of the biggest concerns is undoubtedly the trip there, after all it should not be very simple to send people to another planet, right?

The good news, in this sense, is that some researchers seem to have discovered a new way to go to Mars - and spend even less money! One of the biggest problems with sending people to the next planet is how much fuel a trip of this size would require. Also, Earth and Mars are in constant motion and in disarray, so it's hard to accurately calculate an efficient path. The two planets are perfectly aligned every 26 months only.

Mathematically speaking

And if you're the type to say that math is useless, then it's time to review your concepts, because it's thanks to a group of mathematicians that a new route strategy is being developed.

Mapping a trip from Earth to Mars is an extremely complex task, since the distance between the two planets is constantly narrowing or growing, depending on how their orbits are around the sun. Earth, Mars and the space between one planet and another. Could you understand the difficulty of the thing?

It was with this problem in hand that mathematicians Francesco Topputo and Edward Belbruno decided to calculate the path to Mars in a different way, so that the movements of the Red Planet were favorable to this new possibility of route. To do this, the guys used a concept called “ballistic capture, ” which is the opposite of any other logic so far used to create a travel route.

How it works

The idea is to direct the aircraft into Mars orbit and not to Mars itself, using familiar logic that launches aircraft into the orbit of the moon. from Mars. This would cause the planet's gravity to slow the ship, orbit it and land it.

This new method, just to give you an idea, can save 25% of the fuel needed for the trip, which is a huge advantage over other route calculation methods. Decreasing fuel makes the ship lighter and allows the journey to carry more cargo, which would be paramount for a future human mission. Thus, it would also be possible for an aircraft to take food to the crew who risked staying on the Red Planet.

Since the aircraft would be sent at a slower speed, the trip itself would become slower and could take a few months longer than other existing routes, which estimate six months of travel. Still, there would be fuel economy, which is the main concern of the moment. In addition, this scheme does not require waiting for optimal alignment between Earth and Mars, which only happens every 26 months. So if it were possible, would you risk a space travel of almost a year?