Video of Panel Discussion of Advanced Space Propulsion

Ad Support : Nano Technology   Netbook    Technology News    Computer Software

Newspace 2010 had a panel discussion on advanced space propulsion. (Parabolic Arc provides a summary and the youtube link of the one hour discussion is embedded below)

Approaching Warp Speed: Advanced Space Propulsion

Bruce Pittman (Moderator) – NASA Ames Space Portal
Franklin Chang-Diaz – CEO and President, Ad Astra Rocket Company
Leik Myrabo – CEO, Lightcraft Technologies, Inc.; Research Associate Professor, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Steve Howe – Director, Center for Space Nuclear Research

Vince Teofilo – Lockheed Martin

Franklin Chang-Diaz Ad Astra Rocket Company

– VASIMR - plasma rocket
– Fusion and plasma physics and magnetic mirrors
– First experiments done at MIT in the early 1980s
– VX-50 – 50 kilowatt test bed where they verified most of the controlling physics of the device
– About 2004-05 – NASA decided to shut down its advanced propulsion program to support other efforts
– A “virtual massacre” occurred
– Convinced NASA to privatize the project – formed the Ad Astra Rocket Company in 2005
– Space Act agreement with NASA
– Able to bring in large sums of money to make the project possible
– VX-100 – VASIMR experiment 100 kilowatts
– Finished experiment in 2007
– VX-200 – fully integrated prototype inside of a vacuum chamber
– Last September, fired the engine at 200 kilowatts
– Next step – ISS test – signed an agreement with NASA in December 2008
– VF-200 – VASIMR Flight 200 kilowatts
– Will tests VF-200 in mid-2014
– Develop a space tub that allows them to work in LEO, lunar orbit and possibly Mars missions – using only solar power
– Larger rockets will be tested on the moon

Leik Myrabo CEO, Lightcraft Technologies, Inc.

– Showed video of a laser-powered lightcraft – funded by FINDS group
– Lifting small payloads to orbit using ground-based power
– Formed Lightcraft Technologies Inc.
– $10 million – put 1 kilogram cargo into suborbital trajectory
– Looking to locate in Las Cruces, New Mexico
– Beamed energy propulsion – vehicle is a power converter
– Multiple concepts being pursued around the world
– Doesn’t think that chemical rockets will be dropped more than 10-15 percent
– Beamed propulsion could cut costs by factors of 10s or 100s or even 1000s
– Phased approach – 1 kilogram to 10 kilograms to 100 kilograms
– High-level work between U.S. and Brazilian air forces to develop technology
– Economic, technical and political obstacles to beamed propulsion
– Point-to-point travel possible with beamed propulsion – anywhere in the world in 45 minutes
– Replace system of jumbo jets with lightcrafts

Steve Howe Director, Center for Space Nuclear Research

– Based in Idaho Falls, Idaho
– RTGs – used since the 1960s – Apollo and deep space missions
– Working on radioisotope thermal rocket
– Mars hopper – hop 10 kilometers every five days with a small payload
– Liquify carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and use it to power the propulsion systems
– Working on nuclear thermal rocket
– Can no longer have radioactive material in exhaust
– Shifting to a tungsten-based fuel
– Trying to produce a lower mass, high propulsion rocket for space
– Nuclear thermal rockets could open up the Solar System for robotic and human exploration



If you liked this article, please give it a quick review on Reddit, or StumbleUpon. Thanks

Supporting Advertising



Business Success
   How to Make Money    
Executive Jobs    
Paid Surveys

Thank You

logo

Don’t miss the latest future news

Subscribe and get a FREE Ebook