Saturday, October 18, 2014

My two cents on Lockheed Martin's fusion propulsion device

Speculation alert:  ( Note: This is invoked when I am talking out my ass, which is most of the time, but this time, I'm really talking out my ass. )

There was a post this week about a new concept for fusion propulsion.  After thinking it over briefly, I have a few observations and thoughts about that:


  • Since it uses neutrons as opposed to alpha particles, it is less efficient than polywell or focus fusion
  • The use of it as a space propulsion energy source means that it will mostly act like a fission drive
  • Fission drives that employ thermal propulsion techniques have a much lower ISP than a fusion device.
  • It is proposed by Lockheed Martin, which is a big government contractor.
  • Focus Fusion is the best I've seen for space propulsion.  It is already sending out alpha particles at near the speed of light.  I'm not sure that you can improve much upon that.  It could have ISP of a million or more.
  • We have already proven nuclear thermal propulsion devices.  Why do we need this one?
  • If you want higher ISP's, then develop the fission propulsion devices.  This new device doesn't solve any problem that hasn't already been solved, but it could make a lot of money for Lockheed Martin.
  • Big money gets the big government contracts.  Bigger isn't necessarily better.  We are already spending plenty of the ITER project.  Again, we do we need this one?

No comments: