As the engine will work on thermonuclear synthesis





People have already visited the moon, and the flight into orbit no longer seems to be something out of the ordinary. In space, long and firmly established the International Space Station. Nevertheless, if you think about the size of our solar system, not to mention the entire universe, it becomes obvious that our steps in the development of interplanetary and interstellar space – just a foot under the table. In order to fly to Mars and other planets that are beyond the reach of conventional rocket engines, NASA is developing several additional jet engines, including the energy of the sun.

In principle, the spacecraft propulsion by thermonuclear fusion must recreate the same type of high-temperature reactions that occur in the heart of the sun. The tremendous energy of these reactions produced engine and creates cravings. Using this type of propulsion system, the spacecraft can reach Mars in just three months. Conventional missiles will need at least seven.

In this article you will learn what makes that synthesis and NASA to ships with such engines have become a reality.
What is fusion?

We and our planet are largely dependent on millions of nuclear fusion reactions that occur every second inside the Sun’s core. Without these reactions, we would not have no light, no heat, and is likely to life. Nuclear fusion occurs when two hydrogen atoms collide and create a larger atom of helium-4, which emits energy in the process.

Here’s how this reaction occurs:

Two protons combine to form a deuterium atom, a positron and a neutrino.
Proton and deuterium atom create an atom of helium-3 (two protons and one neutron) and a gamma ray.
Two helium-3 atoms combine to form an atom of helium-4 (two protons and two neutrons) and two protons.

Synthesis can only occur in extremely hot environments, the temperature of which is measured in millions of degrees. Star consisting of plasma, are the only natural objects, hot enough to create a fusion reaction. Plasma, which is often called the fourth state of matter, is an ionized gas consisting of atoms deprived of some of the electrons. The synthesis reaction is responsible for creating 85% of the energy of the sun.

High levels of heat necessary to produce this type of plasma leads to the fact that it can not be deduced from any container, material known to us. However, plasma is a good conductor of electricity, which allows you to keep, manage and accelerate it by a magnetic field. This is what underlies the spacecraft with the engine on the basis of synthesis, which NASA wants to build over the next 25 years. Let’s look at specific projects engines based on fusion.
Flying on fusion energy

Fusion reaction releases huge amounts of energy, which is why researchers are trying to adapt it to the motor system. Ship on fusion energy could seriously bring forward in the race for the NASA Mars. This type of ship can reduce the travel time to Mars by more than 50%, thus reducing the harmful effects of radiation and weightlessness.

Construction of spacecraft flying on fusion energy, will be equivalent to the development of the car in the world that can go twice as fast as any other. In rocket fuel efficiency of a rocket engine is measured by its specific impulse. Specific impulse is a unit thrust per unit of propellant consumed over time.

Engine on the synthesis may have a specific impulse of 300 times greater than conventional chemical propulsion. Common chemical rocket engine has a momentum approximately 1300 seconds, which means the following: the engine produces 1 kg of thrust on one kilogram of fuel for 1300 seconds. Rocket synthesis may have momentum in 500000 seconds. Moreover, the rocket is used for the synthesis of hydrogen as a fuel, and hence, can be replenished through the passage space. Hydrogen is present in the atmosphere of many planets, so that all will need to refuel spacecraft, this immersion in the atmosphere and set the fuel.

Missiles can provide for the synthesis of the longer rod, unlike chemical rockets, fuel which is burned rapidly. It is believed that the movement on the synthesis allowing easy access to anywhere in the solar system, and for two years to carry out the trip to Jupiter and back. Let’s look at two current NASA project to create movement in the synthesis.
Magnetoplasma missile with variable specific impulse (VASIMR)

VASIMR is a plasma rocket, which is a precursor of missiles on thermonuclear synthesis. But as for the synthesis of rocket will use plasma, researchers learn more about this type of rocket. VASIMR fine motor that generates plasma in extremely hot conditions, and then pushes the produce thrust. There are three major types of cells in the motor VASIMR.

Front Box – a propellant, usually hydrogen, is introduced into the cell and is ionized to create the plasma.
Central Box – Box acts as an amplifier for further plasma heating by electromagnetic energy. Radiowaves added energy to the plasma as in a microwave oven.
Feeding Box – magnetic nozzle converts the energy of the plasma into the jet exhaust. The magnetic field is used to eject the plasma and protects the spacecraft to the plasma membrane has not touched. Plasma would destroy any material which would enter into contact. Plasma temperature in the nozzle is 100 million degrees Celsius. It is 25,000 times hotter than the temperature of the gas that is released from the space shuttle.

During a mission to Mars VASIMR engine would be constantly accelerated during the first half of travel, and then changed direction and would have slowed down the second half. A rocket to the variable plasma can also be used for positioning satellites orbiting the earth.
Movement on thermonuclear synthesis gas dynamic mirror

Simultaneously with the VASIMR propulsion system developed and on the synthesis gas with a dynamic mirror (GDM). In this engine, a long, thin wire coils with currents act as a magnet surrounding the vacuum chamber containing the plasma. Plasma trapped in the magnetic field generated by the central section of the system. At each end of the motor are mirrored magnets that prevent too rapid ejection of plasma from the engine. Of course, part of the plasma must infiltrate and provide traction.

As a rule, the plasma is unstable and difficult to keep, so the first car with such a mechanism were given very difficult. Gas dynamic mirror avoids instability problems because built long and thin, so that the magnetic lines are arranged along the entire length of the system. Instability is controlled by allowing a certain amount of plasma to flow through the narrow portion of the mirror.

In 1998, as part of the experiment was to demonstrate how GDM produces plasma during the operation of the injection of plasma, which works similar to the front cell VASIMR. It introduces gas and heats it GDM microwave antenna operating at a frequency of 2.45 GHz. This experiment was performed to confirm the validity of the concept of GDM. Researchers are also developing a full-sized engine system with this mechanism.

Although many advanced concepts engines NASA still far from realization , the basis for the engine on fusion energy has already been laid. When they become available other technologies that will make the trip to Mars possible, the ship with energy synthesis can be very useful. In the mid 21st century trip to Mars can be as routine as sending food to the ISS.


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