Leveraging insights gained from the weapons physics program, a Z-Pinch device could be used to ignite a thermonuclear deuterium trigger, which could provide a radical improvement in our ability to explore destinations across the solar system and beyond.
Fission-ignited fusion systems have been operational – in weapon form – since the 1950's. Leveraging insights gained from the weapons physics program, a Z-Pinch device could be used to ignite a thermonuclear deuterium trigger. The fusion neutrons will induce fission reaction in a surrounding uranium or thorium liner, releasing sufficient energy to further confine and heat the fusion plasma. The combined energy release from fission and fusion would then be directed using a magnetic nozzle to produce useful thrust. This type of concept could provide the efficiency of open cycle fusion propulsion devices with the relative small size and simplicity of fission systems; and would provide a radical improvement in our ability to explore destinations across the solar system and beyond.
Pulsed Fission-Fusion (PuFF) is a two-stage compression system consisting of a z-pinch and field-reversed configuration.More »
We envision PuFF being used to carry high speed payloads to an existing Martian base. We also considered a robotic probe to the outer solar system and interstellar space. This probe, using the same point design for the engine, carries 10 mT to 1000 AU in 36 years, enabling exploration of the local space around our solar system.More »
|Organizations Performing Work||Role||Type||Location|
|Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)||Lead Organization||NASA Center||Huntsville, Alabama|
|ERC Inc.||Supporting Organization||Industry|
|International Space Systems, Inc.||Supporting Organization||Industry|
|University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH)||Supporting Organization||Academia||Huntsville, Alabama|
|Yetispace, Inc.||Supporting Organization||Industry|