Sunday, May 8, 2011

VISTA fusion spacecraft - LLNL

This is one possible form of future space propulsion.

VISTA – A Vehicle for Interplanetary Space Transport Application Powered by Inertial Confinement Fusion

This plan does not offer exceptional performance, but does offer good performance. (Nothing like the distant future fusion rockets such as Daedalus.) The rocket provided about 100 km/sec velocity change. This is an order of magnitude better than chemical rockets. This project offers a round-trip voyage to Pluto in about 7 years. This is more than twice, more like four times as fast a large chemical-powered expedition of the Battlestar Galactica type. And arguably not more expensive. Thus, laser fusion is a good option for manned exploration of the Solar System. This rocket would not be suitable for interstellar missions; those would still take thousands of years at top speed.


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