Revolutionary Direct Fusion Drive Engine Might Propel a Spacecraft to Saturn in 2-Years – TechEBlog
The Direct Fusion Drive (DFD) engine might propel a 22,000-lb. robotic spacecraft to Saturn in a mere 2-years as an alternative of 6.75-years, or method out to Pluto inside 5-years of launch quite than 9.5-years. Plus, for the reason that engine doubles as a potent energy supply, it might have a broad vary of off-Earth purposes too, like to assist energy NASA’s future moon-orbiting area station, referred to as Gateway. “DFD is totally different from different fusion-reactor ideas,” stated Stephanie Thomas, vice chairman of Princeton Satellite tv for pc Methods in Plainsboro, New Jersey. Learn extra for 2 extra movies and data.
“The DFD’s inside will characteristic a magnetically contained sizzling plasma of helium-Three and deuterium, a particular ‘heavy’ kind of hydrogen that has one neutron in its nucleus. The fusing plasma heats up cool propellant flowing outdoors the confinement area. This propellant is directed out a nozzle behind the engine, producing thrust. All that warmth interprets to loads of energy — seemingly between 1 and 10 megawatts, Thomas stated. The DFD will faucet into that energy, utilizing a ‘Brayton cycle’ engine to transform a lot of the warmth into electrical energy,” experiences Area.com.