skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: A New Vision for Fusion Energy Research: Fusion Rocket Engines for Planetary Defense

Abstract

Abstract We argue that it is essential for the fusion energy program to identify an imagination-capturing critical mission by developing a unique product which could command the marketplace. We lay out the logic that this product is a fusion rocket engine, to enable a rapid response capable of deflecting an incoming comet, to prevent its impact on the planet Earth, in defense of our population, infrastructure, and civilization. As a side benefit, deep space solar system exploration, with greater speed and orders-of-magnitude greater payload mass would also be possible.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES)
OSTI Identifier:
1503045
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1256789; OSTI ID: 1291218
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-15-23198
Journal ID: ISSN 0164-0313; PII: 34
Grant/Contract Number:  
no DOE funding?; AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Fusion Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Journal of Fusion Energy Journal Volume: 35 Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0164-0313
Publisher:
Springer Science + Business Media
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; fusion research; fusion rocket engine; comet deflection; planetary defense; nuclear explosive; Comet impact; nuclear deflection; fusion rocket engines

Citation Formats

Wurden, G. A., Weber, T. E., Turchi, P. J., Parks, P. B., Evans, T. E., Cohen, S. A., Cassibry, J. T., and Campbell, E. M. A New Vision for Fusion Energy Research: Fusion Rocket Engines for Planetary Defense. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1007/s10894-015-0034-1.
Wurden, G. A., Weber, T. E., Turchi, P. J., Parks, P. B., Evans, T. E., Cohen, S. A., Cassibry, J. T., & Campbell, E. M. A New Vision for Fusion Energy Research: Fusion Rocket Engines for Planetary Defense. United States. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10894-015-0034-1
Wurden, G. A., Weber, T. E., Turchi, P. J., Parks, P. B., Evans, T. E., Cohen, S. A., Cassibry, J. T., and Campbell, E. M. Mon . "A New Vision for Fusion Energy Research: Fusion Rocket Engines for Planetary Defense". United States. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10894-015-0034-1.
@article{osti_1503045,
title = {A New Vision for Fusion Energy Research: Fusion Rocket Engines for Planetary Defense},
author = {Wurden, G. A. and Weber, T. E. and Turchi, P. J. and Parks, P. B. and Evans, T. E. and Cohen, S. A. and Cassibry, J. T. and Campbell, E. M.},
abstractNote = {Abstract We argue that it is essential for the fusion energy program to identify an imagination-capturing critical mission by developing a unique product which could command the marketplace. We lay out the logic that this product is a fusion rocket engine, to enable a rapid response capable of deflecting an incoming comet, to prevent its impact on the planet Earth, in defense of our population, infrastructure, and civilization. As a side benefit, deep space solar system exploration, with greater speed and orders-of-magnitude greater payload mass would also be possible.},
doi = {10.1007/s10894-015-0034-1},
journal = {Journal of Fusion Energy},
number = 1,
volume = 35,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {11}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10894-015-0034-1

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 1 work
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

The dilemma of nuclear energy in space
journal, January 2015


Interstellar transport
journal, October 1968


Case and Development Path for Fusion Propulsion
journal, March 2015

  • Cassibry, Jason; Cortez, Ross; Stanic, Milos
  • Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 52, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.2514/1.A32782

Dawn: A mission in development for exploration of main belt asteroids Vesta and Ceres
journal, June 2006


Realizing "2001: A Space Odyssey" - Piloted spherical torus nuclear fusion propulsion
conference, February 2013

  • Williams, Craig; Dudzinski, Leonard; Borowski, Stanley
  • 37th Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit
  • DOI: 10.2514/6.2001-3805

Ion Propulsion Development Projects in U.S.: Space Electric Rocket Test I to Deep Space 1
journal, May 2001

  • Sovey, James S.; Rawlin, Vincent K.; Patterson, Michael J.
  • Journal of Propulsion and Power, Vol. 17, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.2514/2.5806

Generic Magnetic Fusion Rocket Model
journal, July 1998

  • Santarius, John F.; Logan, B. Grant
  • Journal of Propulsion and Power, Vol. 14, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.2514/2.5308

Space Propulsion by Fusion in a Magnetic Dipole
journal, August 1992

  • Teller, Edward; Glass, Alexander J.; Fowler, T. Kenneth
  • Fusion Technology, Vol. 22, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.13182/FST92-A30057

"7-Launch" NTR Space Transportation Option for NASA's Mars Design Reference Architecture (DRA) 5.0
conference, June 2012

  • Borowski, Stanley; McCurdy, David; Packard, Thomas
  • 45th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference & Exhibit
  • DOI: 10.2514/6.2009-5308

High-energy space propulsion based on magnetized target fusion
conference, February 2013

  • Thio, Y.; Freeze, R.; Kirkpatrick, R.
  • 35th Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit
  • DOI: 10.2514/6.1999-2703

A direct fusion drive for rocket propulsion
journal, December 2014


An historical perspective of the NERVA nuclear rocket engine technology program
conference, February 2013


Design and analysis of the SAFE-400 space fission reactor
conference, January 2002

  • Poston, David I.; Kapernick, Richard J.; Guffee, Ray M.
  • SPACE TECHNOLOGY AND APPLICATIONS INTERNATIONAL FORUM- STAIF 2002, AIP Conference Proceedings
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.1449775

Fusion Rocket Based on Stabilized Liner Implosions
journal, January 2015


Application of Recommended Design Practices for Conceptual Nuclear Fusion Space Propulsion Systems
conference, June 2012

  • Williams, Craig
  • 40th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit
  • DOI: 10.2514/6.2004-3534

    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Effects of propagation distance and half angle on the merging of hypervelocity plasma jets
    journal, May 2019

    • Thompson, Seth; Cassibry, Jason
    • Physics of Plasmas, Vol. 26, Issue 5
    • DOI: 10.1063/1.5074100