Optimized Nuclear Thermal Rocket for 45 Days to Mars

Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is the preferred propulsion technology for manned missions throughout the solar system. The state-of-the-art NTP cycle is based on solid core Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application (NERVA) class technology that is envisioned to provide a specific impulse (Isp) of 900 seconds doubling chemical rocket performance (450 seconds). Even with this …

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2011 NASA NIAC Fission Fragment Rocket Design

Early 2011, NASA NIAC study of fission fragment propulsion. Brian WangBrian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology. Known …

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Pulsar Fusion Plans Orbital Fusion Tests by 2027

Pulsar Fusion will make a linear nuclear fusion rocket propulsion system. They will heat hydrogen plasma with microwaves to create fusion propulsion. They will perform laboratory tests next year and in 2025 and then have an orbital test within three years. Pulsar recently partnered with aerospace R&D company Princeton Satellite Systems (PSS) for a study …

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Pulsar Fusion Near Term Nuclear Electric and Other Propulsion

Pulsar Fusion, a propulsion startup based in England, announced last week it is partnering with the University of Michigan to research electric Hall-effect thruster tech. The UK Space Agency is funding the collaboration. Pulsar recently began developing in-space electric propulsion systems to capitalize on the growing demand for the tech. The U of M partnership …

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Magnetic Pinch Could Extend Power Beaming by 100,000 Times

Jeff Greason proposes extending power beaming using the magnetic pinch phenomenon. The quasar 3C273 produces a plasma jet that is 100,000 light years long. This distance would span the Milky Way. It may be possible for humans to produce pinched relativistic electron jets over the much smaller distances needed to propel a spacecraft out of …

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Going to the Next Level for Space With Microwave and Laser Propelled Rockets

Kevin Parkin, an accomplished physicist and visionary engineer, is the driving force behind Parkin Research, a cutting-edge space technology company that is relentlessly pioneering tomorrow’s technologies to unlock the boundless potential of space exploration. Parkin has AI-based design tools that can provide detailed point optimized point designs based upon cost and other constraints. Directed energy …

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Improving the Performance of Electrodeless Plasma Thrusters for Space Propulsion

A Tohoku University researcher has increased the performance of a high-power electrodeless plasma thruster, moving us one step closer to deeper explorations into space. y, several space missions have successfully been completed using electric propulsion devices, such as gridded ion thrusters and Hall thrusters. Solar power is converted into thrust energy when the propellant becomes …

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Helicity Space Progress to Lab Fusion Prototype

Helicity Space is making good progress fabricating key parts for their lab prototype of their nuclear fusion drive. This was described last month. Helicity Space has raised their seed round of over $3.5 million per Pitchbook but could have raised over $6 million. The first prototypes would be better than current electric drives. The ISP …

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Helicity Working to a Practical Fusion Drive with a Path to Large Ships at 1%+ Lightspeed

Helicity Space wants to get an afterburner on an electric propulsion system. It will be pulsed-power magneto inertial fusion concept. It is similar to z-pinch but more like helical pinch. It seems like they have exceeded the $5 million seed funding target. They will take 24-36 months (from 1 year ago) to get their lab …

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NASA and DARPA will Demo a Nuclear Thermal Rocket Engine in Space by 2027

NASA and DARPA will work together to develop and demonstrate a nuclear thermal rocket engine in space by 2027. The Demonstration Rocket is part of the Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO) programme. DRACO‚Äôs proposed solid core nuclear thermal rocket temperatures could reach almost 5000 degrees fahrenheit, which will need new advanced materials. It will use high-assay …

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Plasma Thrusters Ran at 500% Beyond Old Power Limits

Benjamin Jorns, U-M associate professor of aerospace engineering led a new Hall thruster study that operated a Hall Plasma thruster at five times old power limits. His team challenged ran a 9 kilowatt-rated Hall thruster at up to 45 kilowatts while maintaining roughly 80% of its nominal efficiency. This increased the amount of force generated …

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