Project Longshot

Description: Longshot was a student study from the US Naval Academy. Like Daedalus, it was also an inertial confinement fusion concept and its mission target was Alpha Centari. The designers claimed that the 400 tons wet mass spaceraft could reach a cruise speed of 14,400 km/s or 5% of light speed reaching the nearest stars in around 100 years. The ICF engine would detonated pellets at a variable rate between 14 – 250 Hz. Although a nice effort from some students, many elements of the design were not addressed and even completed in error. For example, the vehicle was to decelerate to orbital velocity upon arrival at the target system, yet no fuel appears to have been allocated for this purpose.

Members: Keith Beals, Martin Beaulieu, Frank Dembia, Joseph Kerstiens, Daniel Kramer, Jeffrey West, James Zito,

Key References:

  • Beals, K.A et al., Projecty Longshot, An Unmanned Probe to Alpha Centauri, N89-16904, 1988.

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