AIMStar

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AIMStar was a proposed antimatter catalyzed nuclear pulse propulsion craft that uses clouds of antiprotons to initiate fission and fusion within fuel pellets. A magnetic nozzle derives motive force from the resulting explosions. The design was studied during the 1990s by Penn State University.

The craft was designed to reach a distance on the order of 10,000 AU from the Sun, with a travel time of 50 years, and a coasting velocity of approximately 960 km/s after the boost phase (roughly 1/300th of the speed of light). The probe would be able to study the interstellar medium as well as reach Alpha Centauri. [1]

The project would require more antimatter than we are capable of producing. In addition, some technical hurdles need to be surpassed before it would be feasible. [2]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Lewis, Raymond A; Meyer, Kirby; Smith, Gerald A; Howe, Steven D. "AIMStar: Antimatter Initiated Microfusion For Pre-cursor Interstellar Missions". 
  2. ^ Antimatter Production for Near-term Propulsion Applications http://www.engr.psu.edu/antimatter/papers/nasa_anti.pdf

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