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Proceedings Paper

Laser space propulsion overview
Author(s): Claude Phipps; James Luke; Wesley Helgeson
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Paper Abstract

In this paper, we review the history of laser space propulsion from its earliest theoretical conceptions to modern practical applicatons. Applications begin with the "Lightcraft" flights of Myrabo and include practical thrusters for satellites now completing development as well as proposals for space debris removal and direct launch of payloads into orbit. We consider laser space propulsion in the most general sense, in which laser radiation is used to propel a vehicle in space. In this sense, the topic includes early proposals for pure photon propulsion, laser ablation propulsion, as well as propulsion using lasers to detonate a gas, expel a liquid, heat and expel a gas, or even to propagate power to a remote conventional electric thruster.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 April 2007
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 6346, XVI International Symposium on Gas Flow, Chemical Lasers, and High-Power Lasers, 63461I (26 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.738682
Show Author Affiliations
Claude Phipps, Photonic Associates, LLC (United States)
James Luke, New Mexico Tech/Institute for Engineering Research and Applications (United States)
Wesley Helgeson, New Mexico Tech/Institute for Engineering Research and Applications (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6346:
XVI International Symposium on Gas Flow, Chemical Lasers, and High-Power Lasers

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