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Guest Thinkers

Fusion Powered Spacecraft?

Given current technology, the vast distances between objects in outer space prohibit interstellar travel—missions to and from foreign stars—but a fusion powered spaceship could change that. 

Richard Obousy, project leader and co-founder of Project Icarus—an ambitious five-year study into launching an unmanned spacecraft to an interstellar destination—says that no amount of conventional rocket fuel will ever get us to another star. In order to reach other stars and their solar systems, said Obousy, a spacecraft must be able to travel at at least five percent of the speed of light. A fusion powered craft, building on research done in the 1970s for a research initiative named Project Daedalus, could allow spacecraft to approach twelve percent of the speed of light. Project Icarus will make its conclusions about the feasibility of interstellar travel in 2012. 


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