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Interstellar Propulsion Research Within NASA
Author and Affiliation:
Johnson, Les(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL United States);
Cook, Stephen [Technical Monitor]
Abstract: NASA is actively conducting advanced propulsion research and technology development in various in-space transportation technologies with potential application to interstellar missions and precursors. Within the last few years, interest in the scientific community in interstellar missions as well as outer heliospheric missions, which could function as interstellar precursor missions, has increased. A mission definition team was charted by NASA to define such a precursor, The Interstellar Probe, which resulted in a prioritization of relatively near-term transportation technologies to support its potential implementation. In addition, the goal of finding and ultimately imaging extra solar planets has raised the issue of our complete inability to mount an expedition to such as planet, should one be found. Even contemplating such a mission with today's technology is a stretch of the imagination. However, there are several propulsion concepts, based on known physics, that have promise to enable interstellar exploration in the future. NASA is making small, incremental investments in some key advanced propulsion technologies in an effort to advance their state-of-the-art in support potential future mission needs. These technologies, and their relative maturity, are described.
Publication Date: Jan 01, 2001
Document ID:
20020022178
(Acquired Feb 22, 2002)
Subject Category: SPACECRAFT PROPULSION AND POWER
Document Type: Preprint
Meeting Information: 52nd IAF Conference; 1-5 Oct. 2001; Toulouse; France
Meeting Sponsor: International Astronautical Federation; Unknown
Contract/Grant/Task Num: RTOP 732-50-10
Financial Sponsor: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; Huntsville, AL United States
Organization Source: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; Huntsville, AL United States
Description: 1p; In English
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: No Copyright
NASA Terms: NASA PROGRAMS; TECHNOLOGY UTILIZATION; RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT; INTERSTELLAR TRAVEL; IMAGING TECHNIQUES; HELIOSPHERE; SPACE MISSIONS; EXTRASOLAR PLANETS
Availability Source: Other Sources
Availability Notes: Abstract Only
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