Technology Roadmap for A Magnetically Confined Fusion Powered Spacecraft

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D. A. Homfray et al. (2017), JBIS, 70, pp.319-336

Refcode: 2017.70.319
Keywords: Fusion, magnetic confinement, nuclear electric propulsion, technology roadmap

In order for humanity to effectively explore the solar system, time-of-flight must be minimised. To achieve this, a high specific power, power source is needed and currently the greatest prospect in space travel is that of fusion. As the majority of the world's nuclear fusion research is based upon the development of magnetically confined fusion, using deuterium and tritium fuels, the most expedient timeline for a fusion powered spacecraft is to modify the power plant designs based on the research of the next-stage research reactors. This paper describes the requirements, key technologies and their general timeframes, needed to take fusion from research to fruition and then to modify it to a space platform.

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