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Laser propulsionThe use of an earth-based high-power laser beam to provide energy for earth-launched rocket vehicle is investigated. The laser beam energy is absorbed in an opaque propellant gas and is converted to high-specific-impulse thrust by expanding the heated propellant to space by means of a nozzle. This laser propulsion scheme can produce specific impulses of several thousand seconds. Payload to gross-weight fractions about an order of magnitude higher than those for conventional chemical earth-launched vehicles appear possible. There is a potential for a significant reduction in cost per payload mass in earth orbit.
Document ID
19720012827
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Authors
Rom, F. E. (NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Putre, H. A. (NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
September 2, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1972
Subject Category
MASERS
Report/Patent Number
E-6746
NASA-TM-X-2510
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 112-28
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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