Propulsion Systems: Present and Future

by John Paul Strachan, Eldorado High Sch, Albuquerque, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space IV


Propulsion is the very essence of space travel. There are many types of propulsion. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Propulsion systems are constantly being improved just as new ones are being developed and explored. This paper is an overview of those which I consider to be the most credible. The principles involved in electrical, antimatter, and nuclear propulsion systems are fascinating. There is much variation among these systems. The electrical system uses expelled ions, the antimatter system uses gamma rays, and the nuclear system uses the energy created during fission or fusion reactions. During the few decades of the exploration of new propulsion systems there have been many discoveries. From this I infer that in the future a propulsion system will develop that will open the doors of the galaxy to humanity and begin an endless journey of exploration. Before this is to happen many new ideas must be developed, experiments conducted, and new types of rocket ships created.

Subject Headings: Electrical systems | Electric power | Space exploration | Nuclear power | Aircraft and spacecraft | Flight | Gamma function | Energy infrastructure

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