Fusion Propulson System Requirements for an Interstellar ProbeAn examination of the engine constraints for a fusion-propelled vehicle indicates that minimum flight times for a probe to a 5 light-year star will be approximately 50 years. The principal restraint on the vehicle is the radiator weight and size necessary to dissipate the heat which enters the chamber walls from the fusion plasma. However, it is interesting, at least theoretically, that the confining magnetic field strength is of reasonable magnitude, 2 to 3 x 10(exp5) gauss, and the confinement time is approximately 0.1 sec.
Contractor Report (CR)
Spencer, D. F. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)