NASA NIAC Study – Petabits of Planetary Survey Data Earth-Mars Cycler

The Solar System Pony Express is a global, multi-spectral, high-resolution planetary surveyor supported by regular visits from a cycler satellite network to retrieve petabits of data for transit to Earth. This is a phase 1 NASA NIAC study. The “courier” satellites use optical communications to receive 1-3 petabits from the surveyor at least once per …

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TAE Technologies Targets Commercial Nuclear Fusion by 2030

TAE has produced a stable plasma at 50,000,000°C within a compact reactor and repeated this over hundreds of testing cycles. They have had over 25,000 fully integrated fusion reactor core experiments. The experiments were optimized with machine learning from a collaboration with Google. The current goal is a commercial fusion power plant by 2030. They …

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Breakthrough Starshot Photon Engines – Millions of Densely Packed Lasers

The status of the Breakthrough Starshot project (laser pushed sail for an interstellar mission). They have broken it down into three major challenges. The photon engine, the sail and communications. They have twelve academic teams working on the photon engine design and components. They have determined several designs that will not work for the photon …

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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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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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Differences in COVID Policy Within the USA Are Inconsequential

Dr Fauci was recently confused as to why Texas lifted restrictions on masks and indoor dining and then Texas had reduced cases while New York had maintained restrictions and had cases increase. The reason is that variations between 20-40% restrictions and 60% mask compliance versus 80% mask compliance are not meaningful. Also, most of the …

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Exploring ALL Interstellar Propulsion Concepts

Kelvin Long explores the Advanced Space Propulsion Landscape and goes from all of the concepts from different energy drives (chemical to antimatter), beam concepts, space drives and time drives. Kelvin has worked on various fusion propulsion, laser sails and evaporating black hole drives. Kelvin is also looking at hybridized concepts for things like combining nuclear …

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