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IPFS News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Going to Next Level for Space With Microwave and Laser Propelled Rockets

• https://www.nextbigfuture.com, by Brian Wang

Parkin has AI-based design tools that can provide detailed point optimized point designs based upon cost and other constraints. Directed energy can make rocket launches 1% to 10% of the current costs and make interstellar travel a tangible reality within a few short decades.

Before founding Parkin Research, Kevin Parkin cultivated a dynamic career distinguished by groundbreaking contributions to the fields of propulsion and spacecraft design. He was awarded the Korolev Medal following his invention of the microwave thermal rocket in 2002.

Traditional rockets are marginal at reaching orbit. Their chemical propellants do not have enough energy (in the form of chemical bonds) to carry their own weight into orbit, let alone tanks and payload on top of that. Though rockets lighten as propellant is expelled, traditional rockets also need to jettison parts (stages) as they ascend. Most rockets can make it in 3 or 4 stages and a few of them in 2. The payload that is finally delivered into orbit is a tiny fraction of the rocket that lifts off from the ground.

Microwave and laser thermal rockets provide more payload for less rocket by bypassing the fundamental energy-carrying limit of traditional propellants: Energy is directed from the ground onto a heat-exchange layer covering the side of the rocket, which in turn transfers it into the propellant, where it augments or replaces the energy released by combustion.


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