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Title: A new vision for fusion energy research: Fusion rocket engines for planetary defense

Here, 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.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Santa Fe, NM (United States)
  3. General Atomics, San Diego, CA (United States)
  4. Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
  5. Univ. of Alabama, Huntsville, AL (United States)
  6. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
no DOE funding?
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Fusion Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 35; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0164-0313
Springer, New York, NY (United States)
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24)
Country of Publication:
United States
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY fusion research; fusion rocket engine; comet deflection; planetary defense; nuclear explosive