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Prospects for Breakthrough Propulsion From Physics"Space drives", "Warp drives", and "Wormholes:" these concepts may sound like science fiction, but they are being written about in reputable journals. To assess the implications of these emerging prospects for future spaceflight, NASA supported the Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project from 1996 through 2002. This Project has three grand challenges: (1) Discover propulsion that eliminates the need for propellant; (2) Discover methods to achieve hyper-fast travel; and (3) Discover breakthrough methods to power spacecraft. Because these challenges are presumably far from fruition, and perhaps even impossible, a special emphasis is placed on selecting incremental and affordable research that addresses the critical issues behind these challenges. Of 16 incremental research tasks completed by the project and from other sponsors, about a third were found not to be viable, a quarter have clear opportunities for sequels, and the rest remain unresolved.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Millis, Marc G.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 2004
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
2004 Conference on Evolvable Hardware(Seattle, WA)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 2262-949-10-01
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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