In this speculative illustration, a manned cycler space station approaches the planet Mars.
A Mars cycler is a permanently orbiting vehicle with a path that alternately brings it near Earth and Mars. Once a cycler has been accelerated into orbit it continues on its own momentum, going back and forth between the two planets, requiring propellant only for occasional course adjustments.
A one-way trip between Earth and Mars would involve six to eight months of space travel, therefore a large and well-equipped Mars cycler would offer space explorers, and possibly even space tourists, better accommodations for these long journeys. Smaller spacecraft would ferry travelers between the planets and the cycler.
Copyright © Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.
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