Can Computing Power and Plasma Physics Make Us a Multi-Planet Species in our Lifetimes?

by | Jan 14, 2020 | Environment, Featured

If you spend any amount of time in the blockchain space, you’re bound to hear the phrase, “when moon?!” At Hypernet Labs we’re working alongside companies developing technology that could drastically improve transportation in space, making going to the moon–and beyond–sustainable.

Check out our video spotlight on the work of Ad Astra Rocket Company. Their CEO, Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz, is a former NASA astronaut who visited space seven times, for a total of over 1600 hours. Today his company operates the most powerful plasma rocket in the world. Coupled with advanced nuclear electric power, it could eventually get humans to Mars in just over a month.

Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz performing a spacewalk on one of his seven missions to space

But all this wouldn’t be possible without computing power, which Díaz identifies as a key enabling tool for design in his field. Enhancing access to computing power is crucial in that it “accelerates the pace of progress.” And while it doesn’t always make sense to purchase more and larger computers, Díaz says Galileo powered by Hypernet offers the capability of consolidating the computing power you already have so you can run intensive jobs.

Franklin Chang Díaz’s career with NASA was the culmination of a lifelong dream that was sparked in 1957 when, as a child in Costa Rica, he learned of the launch of the Sputnik satellite. He immigrated to the United States at age 18 and eventually made his way to MIT.

In graduate school he studied plasma physics and nuclear fusion. He also began to understand that chemical rockets would be insufficient to transport humans fast enough to enable deep space exploration. In his conversation with Hypernet Labs’ Ivan Ravlich, Díaz explains what’s different about Ad Astra’s VASIMR® (Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket) engine and how it will revolutionize space travel.

Ad Astra Rocket Company lab in Webster, TX

He also discusses the need for a “space trucking” business that can service the hundreds of thousands of orbiting objects in cis-lunar space using solar electric power. Ad Astra aims to provide the engines that will power this business, in an economical and sustainable way. Watch the interview!


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