Solar Sail First Stage and Then Impact Fusion to Get Towards Lightspeed

The Bussard Ramjet drive has been proven not to work, but laying out a runway of fuel could work. This has been examined in more detail. Fuel is deliberately emplaced in the path of the spacecraft before the flight. Kare proposed that, at the velocities proposed for interstellar flight, nuclear fusion can be accomplished at …

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Next Generation Radioisotope Nuclear Space Propulsion in the 3-Kilowatt Range

Ultra Safe Nuclear has been funded by the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) to demonstrate a chargeable, encapsulated nuclear radioisotope battery (called EmberCore) for propulsion and power applications in space. This ‘next-gen’ radioisotope system will be able to scale to 10x higher power levels, compared to plutonium systems, and provide more than 1 million kilowatt hours …

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Avalanche Energy Funded to Developing Lunchbox Sized Micro Fusion Reactors

Avalanche is a VC-backed, fusion energy start-up based in Seattle, WA. They are designing, testing and building micro-fusion reactors that you can hold in your hand. Their modular reactor design can be stacked for endless power applications and unprecedented energy density to provide clean energy and decarbonize the planet. Avalanche is developing a 5kWe power …

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Converting Solar Wind and Interstellar Plasma Drag into Propulsion

The Plasma Magnet work sponsored by NIAC in 2004-2005 developed a means of producing drag against the interplanetary solar wind or interstellar medium with high drag-to-mass ratio. A new class of reaction drive is discussed, in which reaction mass is expelled from a vehicle using power extracted from the relative motion of the vehicle and …

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Scalable New Fusion Drive

The Helicity Drive concept is a novel magneto-inertial fusion concept designed for a fusion space propulsion system. It has promising Lawson criterion performance scaling with input geometry resulting in power output that is uniquely scalable across thrust power classes (10s kW to GW levels) at high specific power. It exploits magnetic reconnection as a fast, …

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Progress to Ultralight 16 Square Meter Nanocrystal Solar Sails for Breakthrough Starshot

Breakthrough Starship wants to use a 100 Gigawatt laser array to push an ultralight 4 meter X 4 meter nanocrystal solar sail. StarChip is the name used by Breakthrough Initiatives for a very small, centimeter-sized, gram-scale, interstellar spacecraft envisioned for the Breakthrough Starshot program. The light sail is envisioned to be no larger than 4 …

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Direct Laser Propulsion For Earth-Mars in 30 Days and Eventually 2.5 Days

Limitless Space Institute gave out nine interstellar space-related grants for about $1 million to 2 million each. Phil Lubin’s direct laser propulsion group received a grant and they will use to prove out their directed laser propulsion system at the 10-20 watt level. They are also working on components at the kilowatt to tens of …

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