SCIENCE: A new propulsion scheme being researched at the UW caught the eye of the Slashdot juggernaut today:
paltemalte writes "A new means of propelling spacecraft being developed at the University of Washington could dramatically cut the time needed for astronauts to travel to and from Mars and could make humans a permanent fixture in space. In fact, with magnetized-beam plasma propulsion, or mag-beam, quick trips to distant parts of the solar system could become routine, said Robert Winglee, a UW Earth and space sciences professor who is leading the project."
Just looked up the word juggernaut to make sure I was using it correctly...
1. Something, such as a belief or institution, that elicits blind and destructive devotion or to which people are ruthlessly sacrificed.
2. An overwhelming, advancing force that crushes or seems to crush everything in its path: “It doesn't assume that people need necessarily remain passive when confronted by what appears to be the juggernaut of history” (Christopher Lehmann-Haupt).
... I had no idea how right I was. But I digress.
I took an intro Earth and Space Science class from Professor Winglee in my first year at the UW. He was really cool -- he used lots of examples from Star Trek and had a crazy Australian accent to boot. Towards the end we had a home-made rocket competition and tried different types of propulsion -- lots of fun. And he gave me 4.0 which is always nice.