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NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology

ASPW 2014

20th Advanced Space Propulsion Workshop

Fusion Ramjet Pulsed Fusion NTP Nuclear Electric Antimatter Vehicle Earth Science Explorer Solar Thermal Solar Sail Magnetic Nozzle Electromagnetic Thruster FFRE

Latest News

  • The 20th Advanced Space Propulsion Workshop (ASPW) was successfully held at the Ohio Aerospace Institute near the NASA Glenn Research Center on November 17-19, 2014. More than 30 presentations were made, covering the following areas in ASP: nuclear, nuclear-thermal, advanced electric, propellant-less and breakthrough propulsion, as well as the related mission analyses, in-situ resource utilization studies and theory & simulation. All abstracts and presentations will be made available at this website in the coming days. Attendance has also been diverse with participants from NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Department of Energy, the private sector and academia.

    The Technical Committee wishes to express their sincerest gratitude to the ASPW host, the Ohio Aerospace Institute, for their superb job with all the arrangements. Many thanks also to our sponsors, the NASA Glenn Research Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, for allowing us to extend for one more year the great tradition of this workshop now 25 years after it creation. Last but not least, our deepest appreciation goes to all the participants for their great technical work and their commitment to ASP.

    --I.G. Mikellides--

  • Recent video* titled Discovery II has been released, inspired by the NASA GRC publication "Realizing “2001: A Space Odyssey”: Piloted Spherical Torus Nuclear Fusion Propulsion," by Craig H. Williams, Leonard A. Dudzinski, Stanley K. Borowski, and Albert J. Juhasz, Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 39, No. 6, 2002, pp. 874-885.

    [*This video is licensed under Creative Commons License CC BY NC All Rights Reserved 2013 by Perry Papadopoulos (aka fragomatik)]

  • Workshop Overview

    The emphasis of the ASPW is on low (1-3) Technology Readiness Level (TRL) space propulsion and power concepts and technologies that hold the promise of enabling ambitious robotic and human missions of the 21st century. The primary goals of the workshop are:

    • Provide an informal forum for information exchange and program coordination between researchers in low TRL advanced space propulsion.
    • Identify major research issues and potential benefits for each long-term enabling technology and the effort (manpower and facilities) needed to develop this technology, as well as the "best guess" as to the prospects of developing this technology.
    • Identify both near-term and more far-term technology options, and the challenges associated with their development.
    To this end, the Workshop could optionally include a discussion/roadmapping exercise at the end of each technology session to assist NASA program managers in the implementation of promising technologies.

    Traditionally, participation at the ASPW has been diverse with speakers from NASA, DoD, DoE, industry and academia. We look forward to continuing this diversity in 2012. Main sessions and examples of topics typically discussed and/or of interest include:

    1. Plenary Session: Programmatic overviews.
    2. Mission Applications and Architectures: Studies that help define technology requirements.
    3. Advanced Earth-to-Orbit (ETO) Propulsion: Launch assist catapults (such as MagLev), MHD-augmented chemical, virtual inlets, laser/microwave beamed energy, etc.
    4. Advanced Chemical Propulsion: High energy density propellants, hybrids, detonation, etc. Extraterrestrial resource utilization such as in situ propellant production.
    5. Propellantless Propulsion: Tethers, solar/laser/microwave/plasma sails, aero/gravity assist, etc.
    6. Beamed Energy Propulsion: Solar/laser/microwave thermal propulsion, high-power beamed-energy systems, etc.
    7. Micro-Propulsion/Micro-Thrust: Systems for microspacecraft and/or high-precision attitude control.
    8. Nuclear Propulsion: Fission thermal/electric/hybrid, nuclear isomers, fusion, antimatter.
    9. Advanced Electric Propulsion: Ion, Hall, Magnetoplasmadynamic, others.
    10. Modeling & Simulation of Advanced Space Propulsion: Modeling of fundamental physics pertinent to advanced propulsion (such as plasma confinement and detachment in magnetic nozzles, field reversed configuration physics, etc.). Performance and life assessments using numerical simulation.
    11. Propulsion Component Improvements: Advanced materials, light-weight magnets, advanced radiators, etc.