An Orion spacecraft en route to Mars.
The author of the German blog, Monster Machine, posts regularly about fusion energy. Although I would put his ideas somewhere between highly speculative and science fiction, they are nevertheless fascinating to consider. A common topic is the idea of a pure fusion explosive, something that has never been demonstrated on a large scale or in a small, self contained package. (ICF and MCF are massive machines that fuse small pellets or small amounts of gas.) Here are a few of these interesting ideas:
This is from the post Flying platforms with nuclear pulse propulsion, a combination of Orion, a drilling platform, and perhaps a container vessel? Here is what the author says about this:
"In the near future, only in a few decades, space travel could look like this: huge flying platforms that are propelled by pure fusion detonations start from earth’s surface and fly nonstop to mars and land there after a few weeks in it’s desert near a building site. A ticket to mars will be affordable for most people. The platforms are made of concrete and construction steel and of 30,000 metric tons mass. The technology is rather primitive but complicated. The more mass the better for the vessels. The power of the fusion detonations is huge. The fuels are liquid deuterium for the fusion pulse units with liquid methane, oxygen and tritium for the pure fusion primary igniters. Pure fusion detonators are possible, there’s a chance that they already secretely exist in the arsenals. The energy of fusion propulsion is 10,000 times more than that of chemical propulsion. This and its side effects makes the tickets up to 50,000 times cheaper. Trips to earth orbit will cost $1000, to the moon and back $5000, to mars and back $20,000, value in currency of 2012. I know that this sounds unbelievable, but I will convince You with physical and engineering arguments in the following text."
In another post, called Building Micro Black Holes Utilising the Ulam ablation Pressure Principle, the author discusses applying the most powerful man-made force, fission and fusion, to creating a black hole with the matter from a solar system object like an asteroid. It should be remembered that ablation pressure in a fusion bomb is extremely powerful, on the order of billions of atmospheres of pressure applied to the fusion secondary by the "rocket effect" of ablating surface material. But I doubt this even comes close to the pressures found in an imploding star. Large stellar class black holes, would be extremely useful for spacecraft propulsion, using their gravity (particularly two black holes) to throw payload out of the system very rapidly.
"The ultimate machine invented for creating black holes with Ulam ablation principle. In the middle is an asteroid iron globe. Cascades of fusion synchronized Detonators are fired from all directions on the celestial object to form a hot plasma sphere surrounding the globe. The surface of the globe vapourizes fiercely for a fraction of a second and pushes the massive object inwards. Just during the explosion attenuate the next salvo is exploded, one after the other. Staggered rows - just like the teeth of a shark - Detonators increase of the plasma density Sufficiently damped for not blasting the iron globe by dissipation heat of the shockwave and compress it until the core exceeds all limits. The object implodes and a big fraction of the inner material is compressed into a black hole..."
There are many more interesting posts including, particularly, early discussions on how to make a pure fusion device, and how to exploit such devices (akin to fusion bombs instead of fusion reactors) to generate energy.
In any event, I highly recommend reading more at http://monstermaschine.wordpress.com/, let me know what you think in the comments section below. In many cases, I am unable to determine what these diagrams show or how they will work. Perhaps the author is also still grappling with that issue.