Fusion:Another Propulsion Technology
April 12, 2009 Leave a comment
I think, we have to a look for intersteller travells only when our spacecraft would be able to travell at least half of the velocity of light, otherwise it most unlikely for manned mission to other roles systems.
Faster speed could be achieved by fusion motors. Unfortunately unlike light sails, fusion has yet to be sufficiently well understood to use as a propulsion device. However, someday room we may have the ability to control the same reaction that driver our sun. Fusion liberate tremendous energy from a given mass making ideal for long voyage. When fuel weight becomes critic factor. An interesting idea is the Bussard ramjet first proposed by R W Bussard. Rather than bring fuel why not get it from space.
Intersteller space has a minuscule amount of hydrogen at a sensity of 1or2 atoms/cc. Bussard’s idea is to scoop this has up using electromagnetic field that extends outwards from spaceship. This field would need to be gigantic upwards of 50000 kilometers in diameter. Ship board superconducting coil would steer has towards the ship compressing untill the density was enough to produce usable fuel. In order to start this process ship need substantial velocity(about 3-4% of c). A Bussard ranket could conceivably achieve a g acceleration that would allow long journeys. To an earth board mare it would take thousands of year to reach the center of galaxy but due to time fillation, only 20 years would pass for the crew on spaceship. But even that some technical problems remain as shielding the crew from intersteller radiation and ability to control fusion. But I think it would be resolved in next few years.