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LightCraft: Prototype Laser Propelled Spacecraft

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posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 01:22 PM
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LIGHTCRAFT PROTOTYPE LASER PROPELLED SPACECRAFT This amazing prototype of a laser-propelled spacecraft is currently undergoing trials at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Originally intended as a Strategic Defense Initiative microsatellite, the craft was propelled by a ground-based 10kw Textron high-energy, pulsed carbon-dioxide, infra-red laser. It is designed to convert kilojoule pulses of laser energy, focused at ten times a second onto a parabolic mirror at its base, into propulsive thrust. The laser energy is concentrated to extremely high intensities, sufficient to burst inlet air momentarily into highly luminous plasma (10-30,000 degrees), with up to ten atmospheric pressures, providing thrust. An operational Lightcraft, with on-board propellant, would fly to Mach 5 on an air-breathing engine then shift to laser-propelled rocket mode.




posted on Jun, 24 2004 @ 06:59 AM
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Very interesting, i would love to see some videos of these aircraft.



posted on Jun, 24 2004 @ 09:09 PM
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just go and spend a night near area 51 you will see some



posted on Jun, 24 2004 @ 09:54 PM
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So far this project hasn't got past the model stage, but concept behind the design works. Unfortunatly this is a rather unwieldy design and in all probability will not get beyond the test phase, however the concept will be applied to other space craft i.e the Space Elevator.



posted on Nov, 4 2004 @ 11:50 AM
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has anyone got any facts about the space elevator or could point me to a post, i've heard somethings about it. btw i am new here, hence the noob question.



posted on Nov, 4 2004 @ 11:54 AM
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Originally posted by inverse
has anyone got any facts about the space elevator or could point me to a post, i've heard somethings about it. btw i am new here, hence the noob question.


Here is just a few links...
Google Search

Space.com

Space.com

www.spaceelevator.com...



posted on Nov, 4 2004 @ 11:55 AM
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I saw some video footage of an early prototype, it was pretty neat. It made this really loud popping sound as the laser impacted the reflective surface. They did mention it was possible to send something out of orbit with that technology which would reduce the costs of space travel tremendously, was interesting.



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