COLLOQUIUM: Fusion Rockets for Planetary Defense
Fusion rocket engines could enable a rapid response capability for deflecting an incoming comet, to prevent its impact on the planet Earth, in defense of our population, infrastructure, and civilization. The problem with long period comets is that they basically arrive to the inner solar system unannounced. If one were on a collision course with Earth, we would only have 6-18 months of warning. To make a long-distance deflection of the comet, with momentum change delivered by ablation caused by radiation from a stand-off nuclear explosive, you need a fly-by interceptor rocket with 20-40x the performance of our best existing chemical rockets. A fusion rocket engine could enable the mission. Interestingly, the performance metrics and design constraints for a fusion rockets are quite different than for our usual Demo fusion reactor.
The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory 2017-2018 Colloquium Committee is comprised of the following people. Please feel free to contact them by e-mail regarding any possible speakers or topics for future colloquia.
- Carol Ann Austin 609-243-2484
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.
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