posted on Oct, 26 2012 @ 02:01 PM
reply to post by Phage
Interesting, thanks for clarifying that. The article isn't specific as to what "hot gas" is being used within the reactor's loop to spin the
turbine/generator, perhaps it is in fact just water vapour? Who knows though, they might be using some kind of exotic gas.
I think their claims to high thrust may have some merit, though without actual testing that remains to be seen. If you consider the potential speed
that ions could be ejected from the engine, pound for pound they could have a far higher specific impulse than that of a chemical oxidizer. Of course
the actual thrust at any given moment would be much lower, but in the near frictionless environment of space it could provide continuous acceleration
over time rather than a burst of power followed by long periods of coasting.
It would be pretty amazing if this could be made practical in the short term. Mr.Cameron's asteroid mining endeavour might actually become
economically feasible if we could reach the asteroid belt in a few weeks rather than a couple of years.