Wickman Spacecraft & Propulsion Company has successfully tested a jet engine that burns carbon dioxide. The jet engine would “breathe” and burn the Martian atmosphere as it flies along, just like airplane jet engines breathe the air on earth. What makes this Martian jet engine unique is that the Mars atmosphere is 95% carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is commonly used in fire extinguishers to put out fires on earth. Wickman engineers have developed a system where magnesium powder can be burned directly with carbon dioxide. Magnesium is believed to exist in the soil of Mars and is abundant on earth. This new jet engine would be ideally suited for the Mars Airplane.
April 16th, 2004