Microwave Thermal Thruster With Beamed Propulsion

Microwave thermal thrusters using beamed propulsion is just one of the new ideas that NASA is exploring for getting us off the ground and into orbit.


(Microwave Thermal Thruster With Beamed Propulsion)

“Anybody that watches the [Star Trek] Enterprise, you know you don’t see huge plumes of fire. Within a few years we will see the first true prototype of a spaceship that will take us between worlds,” said NASA Ames Director Simon “Pete” Worden.

The principal investigator of this program is Dr. Kevin L.G. Parkin, who invented the technology and described it in his PhD thesis. He is assisted by Creon Levit and David Murakami. Caltech grad student Dmitriy Tseliakhovich has also formed a company called Escape Dynamics LLC to commercialize the microwave thermal propulsion project. (Tseliakhovich’s team project at Singularity University this past summer grew out of Parkin’s work.)

“The microwave thermal thruster using beamed propulsion is an excellent idea,” said Dr. Narayanan M. Komerath, a professor at Georgia Tech College of Engineering and a NASA Institute of Advanced Concepts Fellow. “[Kevin Parkin] picks the 140 GHz window, which apparently offers strong advantages in absorption by the materials that he uses in the propulsion system.”

Yes, we Star Trek fans know all about thrusters - we're waiting, NASA!


(Maneuvering thruster module from Enterprise D)

Via Kurzweil AI.

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