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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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  1. ^ Lewis, Raymond A; Meyer, Kirby; Smith, Gerald A; Howe, Steven D. "AIMStar: Antimatter Initiated Microfusion For Pre-cursor Interstellar Missions" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 16, 2014.
  2. ^ Antimatter Production for Near-term Propulsion Applications "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-03-06. Retrieved 2013-05-24.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

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