Fusion energy for space missions in the 21st century : Executive summary
- Schulze, Norman R.
- Aug 1, 1991.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- Future space missions were hypothesized and analyzed, and the energy source of their accomplishment investigated. The missions included manned Mars, scientific outposts to and robotic sample return missions from the outer planets and asteroids, as well as fly-by and rendezvous missions with the Oort Cloud and the nearest star, Alpha Centauri. Space system parametric requirements and operational features were established. The energy means for accomplishing missions where delta v requirements range from 90 km/sec to 30,000 km/sec (High Energy Space Mission) were investigated. The need to develop a power space of this magnitude is a key issue to address if the U.S. civil space program is to continue to advance as mandated by the National Space Policy. Potential energy options which could provide the propulsion and electrical power system and operational requirements were reviewed and evaluated. Fusion energy was considered to be the preferred option and was analyzed in depth. Candidate fusion fuels were evaluated based upon the energy output and neutron flux. Additionally, fusion energy can offer significant safety, environmental, economic, and operational advantages. Reactors exhibiting a highly efficient use of magnetic fields for space use while at the same time offering efficient coupling to an exhaust propellant or to a direct energy convertor for efficient electrical production were examined. Near term approaches were identified. A strategy that will produce fusion powered vehicles as part of the space transportation infrastructure was developed. Space program resources must be directed toward this issue as a matter of the top policy priority.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19910018626.
Accession ID: 91N27940.
- No Copyright.
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