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Proceedings Paper

Pioneers of laser propulsion: Saenger, Marx, Moeckel, and Kantrowitz
Author(s): Max M. Michaelis; John D. Hey
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Paper Abstract

The strength of empires and civilizations has often depended on novel forms of transportation: the Viking long boat, the Roman road, Iberian galleons, French and British steam ships, Indian trains, the car of the early twentieth century, the plane of the middle and the rocket of late. But Space has now come up against a barrier: the enormous and barely affordable expense of putting things into orbit and the unaffordable energy required to travel to the stars. The recent advent of very energetic lasers may reduce the cost. The pioneering ideas of the mid sixties appear less fanciful. Laser space propulsion is about to become such an important topic that its scientific origin and engineering roots need to be investigated. This is by no means an exhaustive survey. We review here the laser propulsion work of four eminent experts: Eugen Saenger, George Marx, Wolfgang Moeckel and Arthur Kantrowitz.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 September 2002
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4760, High-Power Laser Ablation IV, (13 September 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.482032
Show Author Affiliations
Max M. Michaelis, Univ. of Natal (South Africa)
John D. Hey, Univ. of Natal (South Africa)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4760:
High-Power Laser Ablation IV
Claude R. Phipps, Editor(s)

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