[FPSPACE] Controlled Antihydrogen Propulsion for NASA's Future in
Very Deep Space
ljk4 at msn.com
Sat Oct 23 13:03:20 EDT 2004
From: Michael Martin Nieto [view email<http://arxiv.org/auth/show-email/89a543a5/astro-ph/0410511>]
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 15:24:57 GMT (124kb)
Controlled Antihydrogen Propulsion for NASA's Future in Very Deep Space
Authors: Michael Martin Nieto<http://au.arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Nieto_M/0/1/0/all/0/1>, Michael H. Holzscheiter<http://au.arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Holzscheiter_M/0/1/0/all/0/1>, Slava G. Turyshev<http://au.arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Turyshev_S/0/1/0/all/0/1>
Comments: 12 pagess, 3 figures, to be published in the Prceedings of the 2004 NASA/JPL Workshop on Physics for Planetary Exploration
To world-wide notice, in 2002 the ATHENA collaboration at CERN (in Geneva, Switzerland) announced the creation of order 100,000 low energy antihydrogen atoms. Thus, the concept of using condensed antihydrogen as a low-weight, powerful fuel (i.e., it produces a thousand times more energy per unit weight of fuel than fission/fusion) for very deep space missions (the Oort cloud and beyond) had reached the realm of conceivability. We briefly discuss the history of antimatter research and focus on the technologies that must be developed to allow a future use of controlled, condensed antihydrogen for propulsion purposes. We emphasize that a dedicated antiproton source (the main barrier to copious antihydrogen production) must be built in the US, perhaps as a joint NASA/DOE/NIH project. This is because the only practical sources in the world are at CERN and the proposed facility at GSI in Germany. We outline the scope and magnitude of such a dedicated national facility and identify critical project milestones. We estimate that, starting with the present level of knowledge and multi-agency support, the goal of using antihydrogen for propulsion purposes may be accomplished in ~50 years.
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