VASIMR Getting Attention

April 16th, 2014

The Washington Post has a brief article about Franklin Chang Diaz, the inventor of the VASIMR engine that can get people to Mars in 39 days.

12MW VASIMR Mars Spacecraft

12MW VASIMR Mars Spacecraft

Nuclear-Electric Propulsion Missions to Mars

April 10th, 2014

Christopher Morrison, a graduate student working at RPI on space fission systems, emailed me  about this talk he gave regarding the advantages of electric propulsion systems. This is nicely done and is just 15 minutes in length. And all of this is directly relevant to the Gen1 Enterprise. I think his talk is consistent with things I have said on the BTE site.

… Back When They Contemplated Building Some Serious Rockets

April 3rd, 2014

In the early 1960s, scientists and engineers pondered building heavy lifter rockets that could take some seriously large payloads to space – in the one million pound payload range. Look at the diagram at this link to see them.

Elon Musk may have caught the bug lately to build bigger and bigger rockets. But no one talks anymore about rockets that can carry one million pound payloads (well, except at the BTE site).

Skylon Maintenance Cost is $10 million – Really?

March 27th, 2014

In the comments to the last post about the SSTO Skylon spacecraft, I calculated that the hydrogen refueling cost is just $330,000. So since the Skylon maintenance cost after each flight is up to $10 million – this makes you wonder what the heck they are doing to it that costs so much.

They must have to re-gold plate the engines. :)