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VASIMR article, useful links to descriptions/information on the idea of Ion propulsion

Private rocket company Ad Astra is working on a propulsion system that could make future space missions more efficient.

Russian scientists have proposed a novel way to accelerate a spaceship while in flight – firing a ground-based laser up its backside. The new technique uses a plasma flow caused by laser ablation to increase the exhaust efficiency of a traditional rocket propulsion system.

Laser-propulsion could give space rockets a serious boost By Loz Blain Firing lasers up the backsides of rockets could accelerate them faster without requiring extra fuel

Spacecraft propulsion of the past, present and future | Metro

NASA Resurrected an 'Impossible' Microwave Thruster Technology

Plasma Rocket engine  Equipped with an electric propulsion system, the rocket, known as Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR), is being developed to one day transport astronauts to Mars in 39 to 45 days — a fraction of the six to nine months the trip would take with conventional chemical rockets. Shorter travel time greatly reduces astronauts' exposure to potentially deadly cosmic and solar radiation, currently a show-stopper for human missions to Mars.

Plasma Rocket engine Equipped with an electric propulsion system, the rocket, known as Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR), is being developed to one day transport astronauts to Mars in 39 to 45 days — a fraction of the six to nine months the trip would take with conventional chemical rockets. Shorter travel time greatly reduces astronauts' exposure to potentially deadly cosmic and solar radiation, currently a show-stopper for human missions to Mars.

A fusion-powered rocket is about 7 years away.  This is a breakthrough piece of technology that will not only get us to Mars in about 30 days, it will put the entire solar system within reach of humans.

fusion driven rocket test chamber at the UW Plasma Dynamics Lab in Redmond. The green vacuum chamber is surrounded by two large, high-strength aluminum magnets

Project Orion - Nuclear propulsion design for manned interstellar ship (1958–1968).

Project Orion - Nuclear propulsion design for manned interstellar ship

The Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR) is an electro-magnetic thruster for spacecraft propulsion. It uses radio waves to ionize and heat a propellant, and magnetic fields to accelerate the resulting plasma to generate thrust. It is one of several types of spacecraft electric propulsion systems.

This video shows the startup of the VASIMR stage over 5 seconds, the increasing power of the second stage over 3 seconds, a plateau of full power operati.

How to power a starship with an artificial black hole

How to power a starship with an artificial black hole

According to theory, it may be possible to create an advanced propulsion system that would harness the available energy from an evaporating black hole, a so-called Schwarzschild Kugelblitz drive.

Advanced Space Propulsion VASIMR Rocket Engine Could Tackle Mars Trips, Space Junk and More

Advanced Space Propulsion VASIMR Rocket Engine Could Tackle Mars Trips, Space Junk and More

Work is progressing on an advanced space propulsion system aimed at a variety of uses, including reboosting space stations, cleaning up orbital debris and powering superfast journeys that could reach Mars in less than two months.

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