propulsion Archive

nuclearNuclear thermal space propulsion update

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BWXT provided progress updates and technology demonstrations related to BWXT’s nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) program. Jim Reuter, NASA’s acting associate administrator of STMD, toured BWXT’s Advanced Technology Lab in Lynchburg, Virginia to learn more about BWXT’s progress on the program …

energyPulsed fission fusion rocket for 37 days to Mars and other missions

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The pulsed fission fusion propulsion (PuFF) system envisions using a pulsed z-pinch to compress a fission-fusion target. 2 mega-amps would be sent through a uranium-deuterium-tritium target. The uranium would fission first and then it would trigger a fusion reaction. The …

mach effectMach Effect Propulsion at 60 millinewtons per kilowatt which is matches Hall ion thruster

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Refinement of the Mach Effect Propulsion using brass separation from the reaction mass has improved the thrust by about 65 times up to 60 millinewtons per kilowatt. This would be competitive with the best Hall ion thrusters if there is …

antimatterPositron Antimatter catalyzed fusion propulsion

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We can produce very little antimatter and what we make is very difficult to store. These have been huge obstacles that have made antimatter propulsion many trillions of times beyond technological capabilities. Positron Dynamics and Ryan Weed get around these …

darpaDARPA funds developing Quantized Inertia into breakthrough space propulsion

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DARPA is giving $1.3 million for a four-year study of quantized inertia (QI) for possible breakthrough space propulsion. The QI theory predicts that objects can be pushed by differences in the intensity of so-called Unruh radiation in space, similar to …

propulsionSpaceX BFS now has three wings-legs with landing pads

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The top of the SpaceX BFR is the BFS (Big Falcon Spaceship) has three mini-wings with landing pads. It also has 7 Raptor engines. Two of wing-legs actuate. The major design decisions should now be complete. Elon Musk says hopper …

propulsionCarnival of Space 578

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physicsPropellantless interstellar travel using electric fields that is better than laser driven sails up to 5% of light speed

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Laser-driven sails are limited to about 6.67 Newtons per gigawatt. The Three Gorges Dam has a capacity of about 22.5 GW. If this was transmitted with 100% efficiency to a light sail it would provide thrust equivalent to the force …

propulsionElectrospray Ion drive scalable to thousands of times the thrust of existing ion drives

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Accion Systems uses electrospray ion drive propulsion. The thrust-producing ions are supplied from their ionic liquid propellant — a safe, non-toxic liquid salt. This novel source of ions allows us to avoid the use of large ionization chambers, pressurized tanks, …

futureGeoffrey Landis reviewed interstellar propulsion concepts

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Geoffrey Landis works at NASA and has made many contributions to advanced space concepts. In particular to laser pushed sails. The interstellar distance issue was summarized Moon 0.5 million kilometers Mars 50 million kilometers (100X Moon distance) Jupiter 600 million …