These beautifully stunning videos show the formidable power of the Ad Astra's VASIMR VX-200, the most powerful space engine in existence. Running at 1,000,000 degrees Celsius, it looks like Satan opened the peephole of the doors of hell.
The plama engine was tested on September 30, breaking the 200kW maximum power milestone. According to the company, the design has exceeded the predicted performance by 25%. The engine has two electromagnetic stages: The first one runs at 32kW and generate plasma from Argon gas, while the second one boosts the output an additional 168kW.
The plasma engine cuts the need for massive amounts of fuel, taking down the current 7.5 tons of propellant per year used in the shuttle and other spaceships down to 0.3 tons. It will also be extremely fast, cutting down the travel to Mars from six months to just 39 days.
It will be tested in late 2013 at the International Space Station. Hopefully those guys will pull the handbrake before they find themselves halfway to Saturn. [Universe Today]