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NASA funds NextSTEP deep space propulsion incl. 100hr VASIMR & advanced electric space drives

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posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 11:00 PM
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All I can say is "about time, NASA!"



NASA has selected 12 Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) to advance concept studies and technology development projects in the areas of advanced propulsion, habitation and small satellites.

Selected advanced electric propulsion projects will develop propulsion technology systems in the 50- to 300-kilowatt range to meet the needs of a variety of deep space mission concepts. State-of-the-art electric propulsion technology currently employed by NASA generates less than five kilowatts, and systems being developed for the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) Broad Area Announcement (BAA) are in the 40-kilowatt range.

The three NextSTEP advanced propulsion projects, $400,000 to $3.5 million per year per award, will have no more than a three-year performance period focused on ground testing efforts. NASA required a minimum of 50% cost sharing and/or matching for the proposed efforts, which may include prior industry investment.

The selected companies are:

* Ad Astra Rocket Company of Webster, Texas
* MSNW LLC of Redmond, Washington
* Aerojet Rocketdyne Inc. of Redmond, Washington


Ad Astra's Vasmir rocket will finally have its day after over 40yrs! This is very exciting mews, ATS! Now it's time to reach the stars. I don't think there's a conspiracy here but I gotta ask "why now?" What says ATS?

nextbigfuture.com...




posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 12:06 AM
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a reply to: lostbook

What's the difference between vasmr and an ion drive?

Don't they basically do the same thing?

NASA tested that a few years ago.



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 12:19 AM
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originally posted by: johnwick
a reply to: lostbook

What's the difference between vasmr and an ion drive?

Don't they basically do the same thing?

NASA tested that a few years ago.
only in the broadest terms. it does work with plasma like an ion drive. but the scale is vastly different. ion drives are much smaller. Vasimr is closer to what typically think of as a rocket motor in size. vasimr can balance specific impulse with thrust. so it can operate as efficiently as an ion engines when speed is not an issue but can go into a moderate mode and a high thrust mode. also VASIMR scales up with the power input. so while slow SEP transits are possible at 200 KW or much less; it can go extremely fast and make a mars transit in 39 days with a NEP nuclear or fusion power source. However as currently designed VASIMR is losing ground against the latest generations of some ion thrusters. what all of this means is the old saw that ion drives aren't suited for certain things like getting off planet from the ground will eventaully be nonsense. for example the ELF thruster which already dwarfs VASIMR can operate in the upper atmosphere and therefor in the gravity well of a planet. just give all of this stuff a few more generations of development and one day you may see blue glowy stuff ( I love blue glowy stuff) coming out of the engine of a rocket taking off the ground for orbit.
edit on 3-4-2015 by stormbringer1701 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 01:07 AM
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I still don't know how to embed a picture but from the link the description seems really similar to how conspiracy theorist describe the workings of a flying saucer, with superconducting magnets, plasma, ionization, etc...sounds pretty similar...except they use mercury I believe but the propulsion seems similar? S&F



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 01:51 AM
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a reply to: stormbringer1701

I could honestly see that.

Especially just considering the efficiency vs chemical rockets, it is amazing.

39 days to mars you say...

Wow, what g forces of acceleration are we talking here?

The ion engine got up to speed slowly over time, this thing must be pushing at least at 1/10 g or so to get there that fast.

Now is that just getting there, or is that including acceleration halfway deceleration half way?

Now I understand that mars on its closest approach, well we launch and aim for where it will be at in 39 days at it closest approach.

Is still a long ways off.

If we can got that far that fast that easy, it honestly could open up the inner solar system to travel.

Why aren't there any companies fighting over the rights to use this?

If I had zuckerberg money, I would already have folks building this so I could get the helium3 off the moon, and be preparing to bring some asteroids in from the belt.

Not to mention planning a mission to Jupiters moons.



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 01:53 AM
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originally posted by: game over man
I still don't know how to embed a picture but from the link the description seems really similar to how conspiracy theorist describe the workings of a flying saucer, with superconducting magnets, plasma, ionization, etc...sounds pretty similar...except they use mercury I believe but the propulsion seems similar? S&F


No, the mercury has to be spinning at X and be heated to Y with Z magnetic field for UFOs.

Every one knows that..... Lol.



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 02:08 AM
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originally posted by: johnwick
a reply to: lostbook

What's the difference between vasmr and an ion drive?

Don't they basically do the same thing?

For one thing, VASIMR doesn't use electrodes which are prone to erosion: en.wikipedia.org...



It looks more like a jet engine, where at least some of the thrust comes from the plasma being compressed and heated to ~1 million degrees.



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 05:01 AM
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several ion drives are also electrode-less now. for example; that is what the E in ELF drive means.



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