Scaled radioisotope positron propulsion | Ryan Weed at Breakthrough Discuss 2018



Interstellar flight using conventional chemical fuel would take tens of thousands of years. Antimatter promises vastly more power per gram, but faces currently …

21 Comments

  1. Hey my sillies, think he's working in classified territory?!!!!!! . Duh A military test pilot, did PhD level work on positrons , lives(d) in Livermore, as in Lawrence Livermore… his toilet paper is probably even classified. Why wouldn't work on making positrons , which are a gamma ray source, be classified? Yeah.. oh, and he's working on a 100W per Kg nuclear battery too,, This is likely all classified stuff.

  2. Right now a Direct Fusion Drive (based on the PFRC) looks much more realistic – which is weird to say when discussing fusion. According to a 2018 paper they can achieve 5 Newtons of thrust per 1 MW generated with a 10,000 ISP. Now that is truly groundbreaking, especially since the DFD can double for electricity generation. It is safe to assume that it can be scaled up significantly for a propulsion system that can generate hundreds of Newtons of thrust for interstellar travel.

  3. so protons from deuterium, directed by mag-nozzle r giving the thrust ? how do protons get through the dense deuterium and kr 10atm cloud with most of their energy? thanks

  4. Why not as an energy source? I mean its the lower hanging fruit here since you don't have to care about weight. Also going to have to find more stuff of the ExB extraction.

  5. fantastic! looks like the way forward & seems to be the best option of all to date to go far and stop…short of an improbable breakthrough in wormholes or warp drives.

  6. Very interesting stuff!
    It wouldn't surprise me if the use of positrons to generate energy makes the idea of fusion power obsolete before it even gets out of the starting-gate. That would mean "goodbye ITER"!

    Getting positrons from radioisotopes *has* to be a *vastly* better and easier idea than creating a monster like ITER to *maybe* get to the fusion break-even point. Fusion power isn't even in the same *galaxy* as power generation via anti-matter.

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