ion plasma rocket being developed - VASIMR

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by jefferiestubes8, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. jefferiestubes8

    jefferiestubes8 Commodore Premium Member

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    http://www.adastrarocket.com/VASIMR.html
    That 39 day figure depends on many things of the design actually executed...


    conceptual ship illustration to goto Jupiter:
    http://regmedia.co.uk/2008/10/28/vasimr_callisto.jpg
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/28/vasimr_plasma_first_stage_test/

    another illustration concept (Illustration: Ad Astra Rocket Company):
    http://www.gizmag.com/pictures/hero//vasimr-.jpg


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variable_Specific_Impulse_Magnetoplasma_Rocket

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17505-ion-engine-could-one-day-power-39day-trips-to-mars.html
     
  2. Zachary Smith

    Zachary Smith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^

    "She'll make point five past lightspeed. She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself."
     
  3. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    Just a few pounds of force can apparently make quite a difference if applied continuously.

    Of course, the time required would also depend on the spacecraft mass.
     
  4. Bill Morris

    Bill Morris Commodore Commodore

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    My take on this is that it requires a lot of electricity, which could be of solar source if operating no farther from the sun than Earth's orbit, with sunlight concentrated by a giant mylar balloon with reflecting interior half-surface (possibly eliminating the step of making electricity and using that concentrated heat to create the plasma), but othewise would need a portable fusion generator. But the only compact fusion generator currently under development that I see having a good chance of achieving over-unity is polywell, which could itself be configured as a direct fusion rocket and not need this otherwise interesting VASIMR approach.
     
  5. Peter the Younger

    Peter the Younger Commodore Commodore

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    Not necessarily. A good old fashioned fission reactor would work just fine, as was mentioned in this thread.
     
  6. Irishman

    Irishman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    At one point, it was going to be tested on the ISS. Don't know if that will ever happen now that they're considering de-orbiting her in a few years.
     
  7. kes7

    kes7 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    What? Do you have a link to that? I hadn't heard about it.
     
  8. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    A few years being 2015. And that is just a political move by NASA to get more money from congress.
     
  9. jefferiestubes8

    jefferiestubes8 Commodore Premium Member

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    October 2013 date set

    Commercial Plasma Rocket Reaches 200 KW, an Important Milestone

    http://www.dailytech.com/Commercial...00+KW+an+Important+Milestone/article16428.htm

    related thread from 2008:
    If the VASIMR test on the ISS is successful.
     
  10. Peter the Younger

    Peter the Younger Commodore Commodore

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    Excellent news. After seeing so many interesting designs die on the vine, it's nice to see VASIMR is still moving forward.
     
  11. Data Holmes

    Data Holmes Admiral Admiral

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    How long before this thing, if it goes operational and is actually used, gets shorthanded into being just "impulse drive"?
     
  12. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Longer than for it being shorthanded to Vasimr drive. (pronounced vasimir)
     
  13. Meredith

    Meredith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Fission reactors work just as well and we have that tech today. Or even a "Beta Battery" Light Radioactive element that breaks down via Beta Particle decay for electricity. That way all the shielding you would need for that reactor would be a thick layer of tin-foil.
     
  14. jefferiestubes8

    jefferiestubes8 Commodore Premium Member

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    This popped up in the news [again via Canwest News Service yesterday]
    http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/rocket%20engine%20could%20make%20trips%20Mars%20realistic/2119300/story.html

    Why would they test this on the Moon instead of in space just out of Earth's orbit? Because the engine would propel it too far? They need a hard surface for it not to move?
    There is always the possibility of just going for it and propelling a satellite to Mars just like the theoretical 39 day target suggests, but it would be too costly and could blow up and damage an expensive satellite...
     
  15. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    Why not just use a vacuum chamber?
     
  16. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Kirk- Mr. Chekov vaccum factor 8

    Scotty- She's gone from suck to blow sir!