The Nassikas Thruster: Light-years Ahead of the Dawn Spacecraft Ion Propulsion System

Artist's conception of NASA's Dawn Spacecraft firing its NSTAR xenon ion thruster

Artist's conception of NASA's Dawn Spacecraft firing its NSTAR xenon ion thruster

Note that a new posting on the second generation of the Nassikas thruster can be found at:
http://etheric.com/nassikas-thruster-II.  This is predicted to produce over 30,000 times more thrust than the version discussed here.

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Posted by P. LaViolette, July 21, 2015


How about going to Ceres in two weeks and even journeying beyond?

How about sending a probe to Alpha Centauri or Epsilon Eriadni?

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Introducing the new space drive for interstellar exploratory craft:
The Nassikas superconducting thruster
(U.S. Patent No. 8,952,773).

Invented by:  Prof.  Athanassios Nassikas

Technical Educational Institute of Larissa, Greece

The Nassikas Superconducting Thruster. 1) Conical high-temperature YBCO superconductor. 3) Permanent magnet 0.5 T.

The Nassikas Superconducting Thruster. 1) Conical high-temperature YBCO superconductor. 3) Permanent magnet 0.5 T.

 

    • Thruster weight:  118 grams
    • Thrust @ 77° Kelvin:  2.2 grams
    • Thruster acceleration:  2.2% g
    • Magnetic field strength:  1 Tesla
    • Temperature in space behind sun shield:  <40° Kelvin
    • Acceleration in space:  Possibly as high as 2 g

Basically the thruster is propelled by unbalanced forces due to the effect of the magnetic field on the nozzle.  Superconductors expel magnetic field lines and as a result an external magnetic field source will exert a force on the superconductor, the so called Meisner effect.  The field lines are more concentrated within the throat of the nozzle which push the nozzle in the convergence direction, whereas the field lines impacting the outer surface of the nozzle and pushing in the opposite direction are much weaker.  The net effect is that the nozzle has a net propulsion force.

Maglev trains levitate on the basis of the Meisner effect.  In maglev, the magnet is attached to the ground and levitates the superconductor.  In the Nassikas thruster, the magnet is attached to the superconductor and propels itself and the superconductor together.  Of course, this throws Newton's third law and the law of energy conservation out the window.


Comparison of the Dawn Spacecraft 30 cm Xenon Ion Thruster to the Nassikas Superconducting Thruster

Dawn Spacecraft 30 cm Xenon Ion Thruster

Dawn Spacecraft 30 cm Xenon Ion Thruster

Nassikas Superconducting Thruster 

Nassikas Superconducting Thruster

Thruster-table

Dawn-2

Five Nassikas thrusters weighing a total of 0.6 kg would be able to accelerate the 35 kg Dawn spacecraft payload 35 to 3500 times faster than the spacecraft’s current NSTAR 30 cm ion thruster.  So instead of using a 1.2 ton spacecraft that takes 7.5 years to reach Ceres, as in the Dawn mission, a 40 kilo spacecraft could be designed that would accelerate to a cruising speed of 140 kilometers per second in less than one week and make the entire journey in just two to four weeks.

Whereas the Dawn spacecraft will soon run out of fuel, a spacecraft powered with Nassikas thrusters could continue its journey to the outer edges of the solar system and beyond.  With a Paul Brown resonant nuclear battery to power its telemetry, the spacecraft could fly out of the solar system and journey to the nearest star system to eventually relay back information.  A 40 kilo spacecraft propelled by a force of 1 kilogram would accelerate at the rate of 25 cm/s2 and would reach a speed of 79,000 km/s (0.26 c) after 10 years.  Then cruising for ~2 years before beginning its 10 year deceleration mode, by 22 years it would have traveled 4.4 light years, enough to reach our nearest star, Alpha Centauri.  Want to get there quicker?  Add more thrusters.

The Nassikas thruster is currently available for investors interested in aerospace development.  A thrust demonstration experiment has been witnessed by physicists at two Greek universities and physicists from the University of Cambridge, including one Nobel Laureate.  All agreed that the thruster nozzle develops a thrust towards its apex.

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