Category Archives: News

SSI Exotic Propulsion 2017 NIAC Phase I Award

SSI President Gary Hudson

From Space Studies Institute President Gary C Hudson:

 

I’m very pleased to announce that an SSI proposal, under the leadership of Principal Investigator Heidi Fearn at CalState University Fullerton, has been selected for a Phase I 2017 NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program award.

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-invests-in-22-visionary-exploration-concepts

Several of our colleagues (José Rodal, Paul March, Bruce Long, Nolan van Rossum and Marshall Eubanks) are Co-PIs or consultants. Prof. Jim Woodward will also consult on the project. SSI will administratively manage the grant for the team.

The Project Summary from our proposal:

We propose to study the implementation of an innovative thrust producing technology for use in NASA missions involving in space main propulsion. Mach Effect Thruster (MET) propulsion is based on peer-reviewed, technically credible physics. Mach effects are transient variations in the rest masses of objects that simultaneously experience accelerations and internal energy changes. They are predicted by standard physics where Mach’s principle applies – as discussed in peer-reviewed papers spanning 20 years and a recent book, Making Starships and Stargates: the Science of Interstellar Transport and Absurdly Benign Wormholes published by Springer-Verlag. These effects have the revolutionary capability to produce thrust without the irreversible ejection of propellant, eliminating the need to carry propellant as required with most other propulsion systems.

Our initial Phase 1 effort will have three tasks, two experimental and one analytical:

1. Improvement of the current laboratory-scale devices, in order to provide long duration thrust at levels required for practical propulsion applications.

2. Design and development of a power supply and electrical systems to provide feedback and control of the input AC voltage, and resonant frequency, that determine the efficiency of the MET.

3. Improve theoretical thrust predictions and build a reliable model of the device to assist in perfecting the design. Predict maximum thrust achievable by one device and how large an array of thrusters would be required to send a probe, of size 1.5m diameter by 3m, of total mass 1245Kg including a modest 400 Kg of payload, a distance of 8 light years (ly) away.

Ultimately, once proven in flight and after more development, these thrusters could be used for primary mission propulsion, opening up the solar system and making interstellar missions a reality. The MET device is not a rocket, it does not expel fuel mass, and does not suffer from the velocity restriction of rockets. Freedom from the need to expel propellant means very high velocities might be achievable simply by providing electrical power and adequate heat rejection for the drive system. A mission to Planet 9 is possible in the near future using RTG power and thruster arrays. A future goal would be interstellar travel to the nearest exoplanet, within 5-9 Ly distance. A mission of this type might take 20 or more years using the MET thruster. Although the nearest exoplanet is 14 or so ly distance, more Earth-like planets are being discovered daily.

This aerospace concept is an exciting TRL 1 technology, ready to take the next step to providing propellantless propulsion, first in incremental NASA smallsat missions, but later enabling revolutionary new deep space exploratory capabilities beyond anything achievable by conventional chemical, nuclear or electric propulsion systems. This unexplored opportunity has been uniquely developed by our co-Principal Investigators, breaking new ground in both science and engineering. Finally, it is technically credible – if bold and unconventional – and is fully consistent with modern physics, having been demonstrated over ten years of careful laboratory demonstration and investigation.

NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts


For more information on SSI’s Exotic Propulsion Initiative, please see its SSI Program Page.

 

New on the SSI YouTube Channel: President Gary at the SVSC

SSI President Gary Hudson
SSI President Gary Hudson

Gravity: The Key to Life and Propulsion on The High Frontier.  Enabling Permanent Human Settlement On The High Frontier.

February 27th 2017 Space Studies Institute President Gary C Hudson spoke at the Silicon Valley Space Center/AIAA Tech Talk meeting in Santa Clara, California about two important SSI programs: G-Lab, the free flying reduced gravity spinner co-orbited with ISS and EPI, supporting fundamental R&D for true “Space Drives.”

It was a fascinating night and we hope that all SSI Associates will make the time to enjoy this video.

Many thanks to Dr. Sean Casey and Rick Kwan of the Silicon Valley Space Center, the AIAA-SF and the Santa Clara Hacker Dojo.

From the SSI Yahoo Group: A Paper from Al Globus on ELEO Settlement

Al Globus, Senior Research Engineer for San Jose University at NASA Ames and editor-in-chief of the NSS Space Settlement Journal posted this very interesting note at the Space Studies Institute Yahoo Group:

“The latest version of this Equatorial Low Earth Orbit (ELEO) settlement paper is in Space Review this week. They did a great job of formatting and presenting the paper. The biggest change from earlier versions is the SpaceX Interplanetary Transportation System (ITS) announced by Elon Musk which has major implications for ELEO settlement.

Specifically, the ITS is a two leg system to transport people and supplies from Earth to Mars. The first leg is Earth to Low Earth Orbit and the target costs are just about exactly what ELEO settlement needs. The ITS engine is in the late stages of development aimed at operational use in the Falcon 9 and Heavy. A large composite tank has also been fabricated for test. This is no mere paper study.”

SSI Associates should make time to read this paper, it is fascinating: http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3181/1

SSI Exotic Propulsion Initiative releases and International News

From the SSI Facebook page:

“September 2016 Paul March of Eagleworks does two hours on the drive at the Breakthrough Propulsion Workshop in Estes Park, Colorado (and says that the Chinese “don’t have …”).

November the digital paper comes out.

December The Space Studies Institute releases the complete video of Paul March’s presentation on the SSI YouTube Channel.

… and China makes an announcement.

Prestige and Face are big motivators, very much looking forward to seeing who actually flies first with complete openness to international verification.”

http://www.popsci.com/emdrive-engine-space-travel-china-success

 


the complete playlist of the 2016 Breakthrough Propulsion Workshop. For individual videos, see Day One, Day Two and Day Three.