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Superfast Spacecraft Propulsion Concepts (Images) | Space
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Advanced Space Propulsion Systems
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Advanced Propulsion and Power
David Szondy is a freelance journalist, playwright, and general scribbler based in Seattle, Washington. A retired field archaeologist and university lecturer, he has a background in the history of science, technology, and medicine with a particular emphasis on aerospace, military, and cybernetic subjects. In addition, he is the author of a number of websites, four award-winning plays, a novel that has thankfully vanished from history, reviews, scholarly works ranging from industrial archaeology to law, and has worked as a feature writer for several international magazines.
He has been a New Atlas contributor since Sign in to post a comment. Wesley Bruce August 30, AM. It would help if they had some Specific impulse numbers in the report.
A Mythical Form of Space Propulsion Finally Gets a Real Test
WebNutrients August 30, PM. This is not new tech. World Energy Congress Fusion "at a time of transition" In the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is often referred to as a tourism hotspot that combines luxury and ancient traditions. Share Tweet Space propulsion Have fusion, will travel. The idea of propelling rockets and spaceships using the power of the atom is nothing new: the Manhattan Project in the mids as well as countless endeavours by NASA in the following decades all explored the possibility of using fission-based reactions to provide lift-off thrust.
volunteerparks.org/wp-content/fiqisim/3335.php Today, progress made in controlled nuclear fusion has opened a new world of possibilities. Fusion reactors are now contemplated as the heat source that could bring rocket propellant to extremely high temperature and hence high-velocity exhaust or expel ultra-hot plasma to provide thrust. At space agencies worldwide, in university labs, and at start-up companies, nuclear fusion propulsion is on the agenda.
In the United States, Congress approved USD million in funding in May for the development of nuclear propulsion rockets and called upon NASA "to develop a multi-year plan that enables a nuclear thermal propulsion demonstration " from both fission and fusion. The Russian space agency Roscosmos is working on a " plasma rocket engine " in collaboration with the Kurchatov Institute—a project "made possible by advances made in the study of plasma fusion processes. The Advanced Concept Team at the European Space Agency ESA , in collaboration with European universities, is conducting a study on the feasibility of open magnetic confinement fusion propulsion.
And China intends to develop a whole "fleet" of nuclear carrier rockets by the mids without specifying whether they will be fission or fusion-propelled. Rockets lift from their launchpad and vessels are propelled through deep space by the simple principle of action and reaction: heated exhaust gas is expelled at high speed through a nozzle and, in reaction, a thrust force is exerted on the vessel. Conventional rockets are propelled by chemical combustion, which requires considerable amounts of fuel —liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, or kerosene-like propellant—that are ignited at different stages of the ascent into space.
Academia and tech companies are teaming up to develop innovative fusion propulsion systems. Here, at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, PFRC-2—an upgrade of the original Princeton Field Reversed Configuration developed in the early s that could be extrapolated to a direct fusion drive engine for space exploration.
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Propelling rockets by atomic bombs, detonated at very short intervals at the rear end of a rocket, was at one point contemplated. The ban on atmospheric nuclear tests in put an end to the project.
Propulsion and Speed in Space
Fifty years later, fusion is still a serious contender for space propulsion although not in its "explosive" applications. Fusion reactors are now contemplated as a heat source that would bring propellant to extremely high temperature and hence high-velocity exhaust , or expel ultra-hot plasma to provide thrust. Depending on the concept, the exhaust velocity of a fusion-propelled rocket would be in the range of kilometres per second.