An Antimatter Ship for Every Space DockS

Earlier today, we celebrated the discovery that antimatter can be found everywhere — not just the center of the galaxy. Now we'll take you deep inside the strange world of antimatter-powered spaceships. Believe it or not, there's actually an entire lab devoted to antimatter space propulsion at Penn State (the image you see here is their AIMstar). Once we mined a bunch of antimatter out of black hole binaries or neutron stars, though, how would we get anywhere with it?

The principle behind antimatter is simple. It releases a ton of energy when it's destroyed, so you'd harness that in the same way you'd harness energy from nuclear fusion or any other "atoms smashing it up" style energy. It sounds like science fiction, but in fact most of the gorgeous renderings of antimatter spaceships you'll find out in the world are actually done by NASA artists or people in labs.

Here's a cool diagram of the ICAN, also dreamt up by the Penn State antimatter propulsion lab:

An Antimatter Ship for Every Space DockS


A strangely thrusty antimatter ship from NASA:

An Antimatter Ship for Every Space DockS


And an antimatter ship designed by NASA to go to Mars:

An Antimatter Ship for Every Space DockS

Hey ho, let's go!