Author Topic: VASIMR Engine  (Read 123041 times)

Offline Jim

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Re: VASIMR Engine
« Reply #20 on: 05/27/2014 11:29 AM »
Wow!  Didn't Werner von Braun play that role... which is designer and administrator?

And he
Wow!  Didn't Werner von Braun play that role... which is designer and administrator?

von Braun was never NASA administrator.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Administrators_and_Deputy_Administrators_of_NASA

but IIRC he was the first director of Marshall.


And he wasn't a designer as the head of Marshall.  He managed the people who were.
« Last Edit: 05/27/2014 11:29 AM by Jim »

Offline Mecatroid

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Re: VASIMR Engine
« Reply #21 on: 05/29/2014 06:52 AM »
Hello everybody.

Well, to answer the initial question, I would say that many people are interested in VASIMR propulsion or more generally electric based propulsion.

But, instead of VASIMR, that is not yet ready to fly (as far as I know, sorry of I'm wrong), I would rather focus on the Snecma PPS series that is really flying since september 2003 and the SMART-1 mission to the moon.

More informations here : http://www.snecma.com/IMG/files/gammeplasmiqueen_modulvoir_file_fr.pdf

The PPS-20000 seems to be very interesting to me, when compared to VASIMIR figures. Let me know your opinion ...

Offline Profwoot

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Re: VASIMR Engine
« Reply #22 on: 06/04/2014 09:37 PM »
Hello everybody.

Well, to answer the initial question, I would say that many people are interested in VASIMR propulsion or more generally electric based propulsion.

But, instead of VASIMR, that is not yet ready to fly (as far as I know, sorry of I'm wrong), I would rather focus on the Snecma PPS series that is really flying since september 2003 and the SMART-1 mission to the moon.

More informations here : http://www.snecma.com/IMG/files/gammeplasmiqueen_modulvoir_file_fr.pdf

The PPS-20000 seems to be very interesting to me, when compared to VASIMIR figures. Let me know your opinion ...

Even the largest one has a thrust of 1N. Not sure that'll help any manned mission, especially since I don't know it would get enough power to actually run. I can't find mass figures for any but the 1350 either.
« Last Edit: 06/04/2014 09:44 PM by Profwoot »

Offline manboy

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« Last Edit: 11/30/2014 10:50 PM by manboy »
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Offline ChrisWilson68

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Offline Raj2014

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Re: VASIMR Engine
« Reply #25 on: 12/01/2014 06:51 PM »
Has Franklin Chang Diaz asked other aerospace companies to test VASIMR? Does he have enough money to make a small spacecraft to test the VX-200?. If NASA can not give funding, I think Franklin should ask Elon Musk or ask other aerospace companies for funding e.g. ESA for funding or international funding.

Online MATTBLAK

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Re: VASIMR Engine
« Reply #26 on: 12/01/2014 07:15 PM »
""We are kind of stuck," says Franklin Chang-Diaz, Ad Astra CEO and president. The company's current SAA expires in early December. Chang-Diaz says the project is unlikely to advance further without a NASA-funded SAA successor, one the company would prefer to structure like the 2005 Commercial Orbital Transportation Services initiative that spawned Falcon 9/Dragon and Orbital Sciences' Antares/Cygnus ISS resupply services." - June 2014, Aviation Week

Apparently they need about $11 million.

So sad!  NASA is wasting billions of dollars on SLS without a mission but can't find $11 million for something that could be truly useful for BEO exploration.


Yes, but VASIMR and similar concepts on a full operational scale - pushing around spacecraft massing tens of tons - are going to need power sources of very large scale. Solar arrays as large as ISS (or bigger) or nuclear reactors of sufficient mass have two separate problems. The solar arrays of such scale need a solid funded program to proceed - like NASA's SEP exploration concepts which are floating around in the ether at the moment and have an uncertain future. Even inactive, fairly safe nuclear reactors would fight the hardest political uphill battle to even get their funding in the first place. They will literally never get to fly. RTG/Stirling power systems might get in under the radar of public opinion. But I can't see how such systems would ever be much use for anything other than planetary surface power systems. A mixture of SEP and chemical propulsion could accomplish a lot in exploration missions.
« Last Edit: 12/01/2014 07:16 PM by MATTBLAK »
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Offline manboy

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Re: VASIMR Engine
« Reply #27 on: 12/01/2014 10:54 PM »
The solar arrays of such scale need a solid funded program to proceed - like NASA's SEP exploration concepts which are floating around in the ether at the moment and have an uncertain future.
Hasn't DSS' Mega-ROSA and ATK's MegaFlex both received a decent amount of funding?
« Last Edit: 12/01/2014 10:55 PM by manboy »
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Re: VASIMR Engine
« Reply #28 on: 12/02/2014 05:15 AM »
A Megaflex that produces hundreds of kilowatts of power? All the artist impressions I've seen for Exploration propulsion 'buses' are the huge, ISS blanket types.
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Offline manboy

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Re: VASIMR Engine
« Reply #29 on: 12/02/2014 07:43 AM »
A Megaflex that produces hundreds of kilowatts of power?
Both MegaFlex and Mega-ROSA teams are aiming for a +300 kW system. Mega-ROSA can allegedly be scaled to a several MW system. The ISS solar arrays apparently generate roughly 110 kW.
« Last Edit: 12/02/2014 07:55 AM by manboy »
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Re: VASIMR Engine
« Reply #30 on: 12/02/2014 08:22 AM »
Good one! I'm learning something every day.
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Offline fast

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Re: VASIMR Engine
« Reply #31 on: 12/02/2014 08:26 AM »
A Megaflex that produces hundreds of kilowatts of power?
Both MegaFlex and Mega-ROSA teams are aiming for a +300 kW system. Mega-ROSA can allegedly be scaled to a several MW system. The ISS solar arrays apparently generate roughly 110 kW.

IIRC it was 64kW each of 4 sets. So total of about 260kW.
« Last Edit: 12/02/2014 12:39 PM by fast »

Offline Raj2014

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Re: VASIMR Engine
« Reply #32 on: 12/02/2014 12:40 PM »
A Megaflex that produces hundreds of kilowatts of power?
Both MegaFlex and Mega-ROSA teams are aiming for a +300 kW system. Mega-ROSA can allegedly be scaled to a several MW system. The ISS solar arrays apparently generate roughly 110 kW.

IMHO it was 60KW each of 4 sets

How efficient are ATK's solar arrays? The solar arrays being used in space today, are they strong enough against micrometeorites? I read that a company in Germany has developed a solar panel with an efficiency of 46%, the name of the company is called Fraunhofer ISE. Also researchers have discovered that using blu-ray disks, it can increase solar panels efficiency by 22%.     

Offline JasonAW3

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Re: VASIMR Engine
« Reply #33 on: 12/02/2014 12:57 PM »
Slightly off topic...

     Dumb question; Assuming similar sized liquid based solar panels, whould it be possible to heat a reaction mass fluid directly to the point of giving a thrust level similar to that of an Ion or Vasmir drive, using the same amount of fuel, without the electronic boost?
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Offline IslandPlaya

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Re: VASIMR Engine
« Reply #34 on: 12/02/2014 06:23 PM »
Thrust level? Sure, easily...
To give the same Isp? I'd say no, but am not completely sure.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: VASIMR Engine
« Reply #35 on: 12/02/2014 06:59 PM »
Slightly off topic...

     Dumb question; Assuming similar sized liquid based solar panels, whould it be possible to heat a reaction mass fluid directly to the point of giving a thrust level similar to that of an Ion or Vasmir drive, using the same amount of fuel, without the electronic boost?

For the same amount of sunlight solar thermal has a higher thrust but significantly lower Isp.  Isp is in the range 800 - 1200 seconds.

Offline IslandPlaya

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Re: VASIMR Engine
« Reply #36 on: 12/02/2014 08:28 PM »
What I said...

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: VASIMR Engine
« Reply #37 on: 12/02/2014 08:38 PM »
Check out Tethers Unlimited' s  Spiderfab, for building large solar arrays in space.

Unfortunately for VASIMR the large solar arrays and power systems required to drive it are still a while away. Even when these technologies are ready there will probably not be a mission or budget for a large solar powered tug.

Offline Stormbringer

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Re: VASIMR Engine
« Reply #38 on: 12/02/2014 09:22 PM »
Well you can power a Vasimr two ways (effectively that is.) Solar arrays which i like less that the second option. But they will work. I don't think that they really need further technical development or mechanical engineering. You can make up folding arrays of the requisite size. There have been folding solar sails designed, folding sun shields the size of tennis courts designed.  If they have to use solar arrays  they could do so.

The other way is nuclear. Either fusion of fission. Fusion may be near term (more or less) but fission is ready. GE Mitsubishi and others already have mini reactors the size of curbside garbage cans or at least the size of a large fridgerator. the tech is ready or right next to it.

VASIMR could get done. right now. But it lacks a powerful sponsor capable of cracking the whip and also buying the pieces. Dr Diaz does not have the power to do this quickly and i doubt he can buy and get approved a GE or Mitsubishi mini reactor. if not he is doing it the only way he can go about it. Slowly getting it tested and vetted on the ISS even though it has been delayed and delayed.
« Last Edit: 12/02/2014 09:23 PM by Stormbringer »
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Offline Stormbringer

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Re: VASIMR Engine
« Reply #39 on: 12/02/2014 09:35 PM »
You know...it's been years since i read those articles and i got the company and the dimensions wrong. But it's still small enough for launch and it produces power for 40 years before you need to do anything to it.

Here is one article on the type of reactor in general I was talking about:

http://www.wired.com/2007/12/toshibas-home-n/
« Last Edit: 12/02/2014 09:38 PM by Stormbringer »
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