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Interstellar Flight by Particle BeamTwo difficulties with the use of laser-propelled lightsails for interstellar propulsion are the extremely low energy efficiency, and the extremely large lenses required. Both the energy efficiency and the required lens size may be greatly improved by use of a particle beam, rather than a light beam. The particle beam is reflected by a magnetic field on the spacecraft, for example, by a magnetic sail or a mini-magnetosphere inflated by a plasma current. This results in a net force on the sail with no expenditure of propellant, allowing extremely high delta-V missions, such as an interstellar probe, to be accomplished.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Glenn Research Center
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Landis, Geoffrey A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2001
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Meeting Information
Meeting: Space Technology Applications International Forum Conference on Innovative Transportation Systems for Exploration of the Solar System and Beyond
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Country: United States
Start Date: February 11, 2001
End Date: February 15, 2001
Sponsors: New Mexico Univ.
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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