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Fusion energy for space missions in the 21st Century
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Author and Affiliation:
Schulze, Norman R.(NASA, Washington, DC, United States)
Abstract: Future space missions were hypothesized and analyzed and the energy source for their accomplishment investigated. The mission included manned Mars, scientific outposts to and robotic sample return missions from the outer planets and asteroids, as well as fly-by and rendezvous mission with the Oort Cloud and the nearest star, Alpha Centauri. Space system parametric requirements and operational features were established. The energy means for accomplishing the High Energy Space Mission were investigated. Potential energy options which could provide the propulsion and electric 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. 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.
Publication Date: Aug 01, 1991
Document ID:
19920002565
(Acquired Nov 07, 1995)
Accession Number: 92N11783
Subject Category: NUCLEAR AND HIGH-ENERGY PHYSICS
Report/Patent Number: NASA-TM-4298, NAS 1.15:4298
Document Type: Technical Report
Publisher Information: United States
Financial Sponsor: NASA; United States
Organization Source: NASA; Washington, DC, United States
Description: 477p; In English
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: No Copyright
NASA Terms: MISSION PLANNING; NUCLEAR FUSION; NUCLEAR PROPULSION; PROPULSION SYSTEM CONFIGURATIONS; PROPULSION SYSTEM PERFORMANCE; SPACE EXPLORATION; SPACE POWER REACTORS; SPACECRAFT POWER SUPPLIES; SPACECRAFT PROPULSION; ASTEROIDS; CENTAURUS CONSTELLATION; ENERGY CONVERSION EFFICIENCY; INTERPLANETARY FLIGHT; NUCLEAR FUELS; OORT CLOUD; REACTOR SAFETY; ROBOTICS; SPACE MISSIONS
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