How to build an antimatter rocket for interstellar missions - systems level considerations in designing advanced propulsion technology vehicles

  title={How to build an antimatter rocket for interstellar missions - systems level considerations in designing advanced propulsion technology vehicles},
  author={Robert H. Frisbee},
One of the few ways to do fast (ca. 0.5c cruise velocity) interstellar rendezvous missions is with a matter-antimatter annihilation propulsion system. This paper discusses the general mission requirements and system technologies that would be required to implement an antimatter propulsion system where a magnetic nozzle (superconducting magnet) is used to direct charged particles (from the annihilation of protons and antiprotons) to produce thrust. Scaling equations for the various system… 

Beamed Core Antimatter Propulsion: Engine Design and Optimization

A conceptual design for beamed core antimatter propulsion is reported, where electrically charged annihilation products directly generate thrust after being deflected and collimated by a magnetic

Antiproton Driven Bi-Modal Fusion Propulsion System

The Gasdynamic Mirror (GDM) fusion reactor is investigated for utilization as a propulsion device, as well as for use as a surface power system when driven by antiprotons in both instances. The

Simulation of an Antimatter Beam Core Engine for Space Travel

An exciting prospect is the use of antimatter as a fuel source due to its ability to convert mass energy to kinetic energy. Upon annihilation of antimatter with matter, tremendous amounts of energy

Electromagnetic Extraction and Annihilation of Antiprotons for Spacecraft Propulsion

A novel concept for the extraction and long-term trapping of antiprotons from planetary magnetospheres is developed. The excitation via rotating magnetic field of an electron population within a

Pros and cons of relativistic interstellar flight

Interstellar Space Missions: Ultra-Reliability Requirements and Engineering Issues—Part II

Although no interstellar space mission has been designated as yet by NASA, it and a number of other organizations such at the British Interplanetary Society (BIS) have long considered the possibility

Impact of Interstellar Vehicle Acceleration and Cruise Velocity on Total Mission Mass and Trip Time

Far-term interstellar missions, like their near-term solar system exploration counterparts, seek to minimize overall mission trip time and transportation system mass. Trip time is especially

Fundamental Architecture and Analysis of an Antimatter Ultra-Intense Laser Derived Pulsed Space Propulsion System

Antimatter has been generated in large quantities by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Titan laser. The Titan laser is an ultra-intense laser system on the order of approximately 1020W/cm2

Optimization of Antimatter Rocket Performance

This paper presents results of a derivation of the Rocket Equation applicable to a relativistic-speed proton-antiproton annihilation rocket where a significant amount of the initial annihilation


Considerable progress has been made in the field of space exploration however, no phenomenon as iconic as the moon landing has occurred ever since, giving the illusion of a stagnant progress. This



Evaluation of propulsion options for interstellar missions

This paper describes an evaluation of various propulsion options for robotic interstellar rendezvous missions to stars ranging from 4.5 Light Years (L.Y.) with a 10-year trip time, to 40 L.Y. with a


Production and trapping of small numbers of antiprotons for space applications are feasible, setting the stage for antiproton-catalyzed microfission/fusion (ACMF) reactions as a source of propulsive

Antiproton powered propulsion with magnetically confined plasma engines

Matter-antimatter annihilation releases more energy per unit mass than any other method of energy production, making it an attractive energy source for spacecraft propulsion. In the magnetically

Concepts for the design of an antimatter annihilation rocket

Matter-antimatter annihilation is considered for spacecraft propulsion. Annihilation produces considerably more energy per unit mass of propellant than any other known means of energy production. An

Antiproton Annihilation Propulsion

Abstract : Antiproton annihilation propulsion is a new form of space propulsion, where milligrams of antimatter are used to heat tons of reaction fluid to high temperatures. The hot reaction fluid is

Transport vehicle for manned Mars missions powered by inertial confinement fusion

Inertial confinement fusion (ICF) is an ideal engine power source for manned spacecraft to Mars because of its inherently high power-to-mass ratios and high specific impulses. We have produced a

Gamma-ray and fast neutron radiation effects on thin film superconductors

The gamma-ray and neutron radiation hardness of YBa/sub 2/Cu/sub 3/O/sub 7-x/, Tl/sub 2/Ba/sub 2/CaCu/sub 2/O/sub 8+x/ and Tl/sub 2/Ba/sub 2/Ca/sub 2/Cu/sub 3/O/sub 10+x/ superconducting thin films

Side 1-Plate Fin&Tube Radiator Length (m) 63.66 54

  • Side 1-Plate Fin&Tube Radiator Length (m) 63.66 54

The Application of Monte Carlo Modeling to Matter-Antimatter Annihilation Propulsion Concepts,

  • JPL Internal Document
  • 1989