NASA engineer proposes to use a particle accelerator as a rocket engine

Today interplanetary flights (not to mention travels outside our Solar system) rests in one problem — lack of power of rocket engines. Of course, continuously work to improve this component missiles. Someone even seriously engaged in the issue of the creation of the ion engine, but then all went to the NASA engineer David burns, who proposes to use as a motor particle accelerator.

A particle accelerator as an engine? Why not!

How to build a engine for interplanetary flights?

Outset (as, indeed, did the author of the idea in his report) that the idea of creating such an engine is just a concept. A working prototype at NASA at the moment. Engineer David burns from the Space center Marshall NASA has proposed to use the particle accelerator, which has a spiral shape. He called this engine a “screw”.

Like space engine can be used for a long time to keep the satellites in orbit without refueling, says Mr burns. — It may also be useful when moving spacecraft over long distances, developing a speed close to light. Of course, if the calculations are correct and they do not contradict the laws of physics.

The engine design is based on the third Newton’s law. If someone forgot, briefly recall: Newton’s third law or the law of equality of action and reaction — one of the three fundamental laws of Newtonian mechanics. He says that to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. As an example, a NASA engineer describes a straight sealed with the two sides of the rod, inside of which moves a load. The cargo moving along a straight rod inside the rod will cause it to move back and forth in free of surface friction.

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However, if cargo is to use the particle accelerator, which moves in a spiral, then everything changes. With forward motion, its potential energy increases and it falls when reversing. Thus, when the element enters into the anterior chamber of the rod, move forward. Burns believes that if you screw the engine to give enough time and energy, he will be able to achieve with the help of a particle accelerator potentially relativistic speeds. The illustration of this process is shown in figure below. What do you think about this engine? Write about it in our chat in Telegram.

The theoretical principle of operation of the new engine

While there is this type of engine and the number of restrictions. In the first place on Earth to fully test this engine simply will not work, as it will work only in the complete absence of friction. That is, in the open space. Another point is the size of the engine itself. With a diameter of 12 meters, its length is almost 200 meters. And this is just the engine without the residential units, auxiliary equipment, life support systems and so on. In space, these dimensions are small, but so you understand the scale: the ISS currently has a length of about 100 meters, and Starship from Elon musk about 50 meters.

Another point relates to energy efficiency. It will take about 125 megawatts in order to obtain at least one Newton of force. Inefficiency may arise from the fact that its design can violate the law of conservation of momentum. But the engineer believes that “you should at least try” before you abandon the idea. What is your opinion?

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