Though he isn't an astronaut, the plasma rocket
technology he developed at his Princeton lab has enabled hundreds of spacecraft to travel the solar system more efficiently and inexpensively than traditional chemical rockets.
Tune into National Georgraphic Abu Dhabi (NGAD) on 05 June at 8:00 pm KSA / 9:00 pm UAE to meet Franklin Chang-Diaz PhD, a former astronaut, who is working on a new engine that could hurtle a shuttle through space at hundreds of thousands of miles an hour -- the Magneto Plasma rocket
A scale-model plasma rocket
engine that is to be tested at the International Space Station could be delivered in 2012 by a NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program launch system.