Wednesday, February 9, 2011

IEC Fusion propulsion

Looking over that Powerpoint file mentioned yesterday, it looks like there is one in which enough information can be gathered in order to make an guesstimate on what it would take to achieve escape velocity.  It is a the same basic concept as polywell fusion, but probably not a polywell design.  Instead it confines the electrons like the polywell does, as far as I can tell.  Instead of making electricity, it appears to make thrust.  Here's a screenshot of the powerpoint on it.

source: via twitter!/LPPX

Amateur alert:  figures may be not be exact.  Fiddling around with this, it looks like an array of 5 of these could propel 30000 kg dry mass out of Earth orbit in less than 300 days.  Not fast enough for a manned mission, but perhaps useful to deliver cargo back and forth between the Earth and Moon.  Modest amount of propellant would be needed.  Assuming the thing had a long service life, it may be feasible as a space truck to deliver commercial cargo to and from the Moon.

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