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starship-design: Plasma Drive...
Well here's the URL for the Final Report on the Stable Plasma power storage
...it requires Adobe Acrobat 3.0. It seems to have great potential and the
plasma could be powered up by any old energy source, via a microwave
injector or some such. Theoretically a stable plasma could be put in a jet
engine and the aircraft would require NO fuel, and still have enough power
to travel around the world! It'd just compress and heat normal air...
Applied to a space launcher the savings could be immense, and applied to a
Mars mission the mass would go from ~ 600 t [split between three launches]
to one launch of about 120 t! That's an 80% saving in mass and God knows how
much in equipment and development.
Ultimately it could go into a system using small sub-plasmas for thrust and
achieve maybe 60,000 s Isp... I can see real potential for this coupled with
a Bussard fusor for high speed Deep Space missions...