Air travel to Mars may no longer be just a dream. Imaginative, a nonprofit organization, has created a conceptual design of Solar Express, an “express space train” that can take us from Earth to Mars in only a few hours.
The creators of Solar Express say that the train would travel at high speeds that do not slow down and that it would “run non-stop, so smaller vessels would need to catch the train when it passed by,” according to its creators.
How it would work
The Solar Express has six cylinders, each one is about 50 meters and would be aligned in a straight line. Each of the cylinders would be split into four cargo sections that could be changed while in motion by maintenance robots.
The Solar Express would first accelerate with rocket boosters and use the force of gravity to make its way around planets or moons, all the while moving at 3,000km/s, which is one percent of the speed of light.
Solar panels, which can absorb the sun’s energy, would be placed along the train’s path to ping back energy to the Solar Express. The train’s designer, Charles Bombardier, says that “once the train reaches its cruising speed, its energy consumption would be minimal.”
The Solar Express would have a city inside, which would house us, humans, providing us with artificial gravity and a complete living experience while we make our way around space.
Bombardier says that the first train would take cargo and people from Earth to the Moon in about seven hours, which would be about 15 km/s. Now that’s fast! He also says that “the Moon will serve as a launching pad for other projects because it is easier to assemble and build this kind of train in the absence of gravity…And Mars seems to be a good candidate for the next phase, especially if we can terraform it.”
Want to take a closer look at the experiment? Watch the short video here: