Project AIMStar

Description: This was a proposal for an Antimatter Initiated Microfusion Starship (AIMStar) ran by people at Penn State University. The key propellant was deuterium and helium-3 fuel droplets which fuse in conjunction with using a cloud of antiprotons confined within a Penning trap, and with the use of a fissionable material. The antiprotons induce fission and produce charged particles with sufficient energy to ionize the fusion droplets. The design had a pellet repitition rate of 200 Hz. The vehicle would carry a 100 kg science payload to a distance of 10,000 AU, which is well inside the Oort Cloud. The cruise velocity would be around 1,000 km/s and it would take around 50 years to reach its destination.

Members: G.Gaidos, Raymond.A.Lewis, Kirby Meyer, T.Schmidt, Gerald .A.Smith, Steven D Howe.

Key References:

  • Gaidos, G, AIMSTAR: Antimatter Initiated Microfusion for Pre-Cursor Interstellar Missions, Acta Astronautica, 44, 2-4, pp.183-186, 1999.
  • Lewis, R.A, K.Meyer, G.A.Smith, S.D.Howe, AIMStar: Antimatter Initiated Microfusion For Pre-cursor Interstellar Missions, Internal Publication, Laboratory for Elementary Particle Science, Department of Physics, The Pennsylvania State University, 1999 {year needs to be confirmed}.

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