The rocket engine that proves solar thermal propulsion | Symphonic sciences
The rocket engine that proves solar thermal propulsion isn’t just a crazy theory.
It may not seem like much, but Jason Benkoski and his team have just demonstrated solar thermal propulsion, a hitherto theoretical type of solar-powered rocket engine. Thanks to advances in materials science and engineering, Jason Benkosky and his colleagues demonstrated the viability of the concepts with the first prototype solar thermal engine. According to Jason Benkoski and his team, he just showed off a solar thermal engine that was once considered theoretical and often dismissed as science fiction.
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Jason Benkoski said using solar heat to power others could easily throw off a rocket engine. It is therefore desirable to improve by all means the performance of thermal nuclear propulsion, although it is more efficient than chemical engines at equal power. Nuclear pulse propulsion is far from the only aerospace technology that relies on nuclear energy. For example, nuclear missiles can use heat from an airborne nuclear reactor to vent gases to provide thrust.
With these chemical rockets and ion thrusters, we can deliver and keep satellites and the International Space Station in orbit, even if they are in lower orbits where atmospheric drag is a problem. Over the past decades, we have improved our chemical rockets. We are experimenting with different nuclear rockets, and ion thrusters have become commonplace on modern satellites and for missions in Earth’s solar system. Since the advent of the rocket engine in the first half of the 20th century, we have made many improvements and new technologies. A glimpse of what might be possible in the future can be seen in what appears to be the current pioneer: a type of electric motor called Vasimr (Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket).
They plan to build an engine that uses hydrogen heated under pressure to achieve three times the efficiency of traditional rocket engines used today. The specific impulse of a chemical rocket burning liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen is 450 seconds, precisely half that of the initial target of nuclear missiles (900 seconds). Even a 100% efficient rocket engine capable of ejecting spent fuel by removing all the heat of combustion (rocket engine/nozzle cool to the touch) will reduce the inefficiency of transferring motive energy to kinetic energy.
Spaceship with engine. Note that this ideal rocket engine would be cool to the touch if ALL OF transferred all power to the kinetic energy of the exhaust.