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Engineering - Mechanical Engineering | Future Spacecraft Propulsion Systems - Enabling Technologies for Space Exploration

Future Spacecraft Propulsion Systems

Enabling Technologies for Space Exploration

Bruno, Claudio, Chudoba, Bernd

Jointly published with Praxis Publishing, UK

2nd ed. 2009, XXIV, 560 p.

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  • Updates and expands the information in the first edition of Future Spacecraft Propulsion Systems
  • Includes new material on fusion propulsion
  • Puts spacecraft propulsion in perspective, from earth orbit launchers to astronomical/space exploration vehicles
  • Demonstrates the logical expansion of propulsion concepts
  • Looks at the design limitations imposed by the mission requirements
  • Assesses the industrial capability required to construct and operate modern spacecraft
  • Suggests a step-by-step approach to the design of new space propulsion systems for future operations
  • Reviews nuclear and high-energy space propulsion, essential for fast Solar System exploration
  • Looks ahead to possible future developments of propulsion systems for journeys to the stars

In this second edition of Future Spacecraft Propulsion Systems, the authors demonstrate the need to break free from the old established concepts of expendable rockets, using chemical propulsion, and to develop new breeds of launch vehicle capable of both launching payloads into orbit at a dramatically reduced cost and for sustained operations in low-Earth orbit. The next steps to establishing a permanent ‘presence’ in the Solar System beyond Earth are the commercialisation of sustained operations on the Moon and the development of advanced nuclear or high-energy space propulsion systems for Solar System exploration out to the boundary of interstellar space.

In the future, high-energy particle research facilities may one day yield a very high-energy propulsion system that will take us to the nearby stars, or even beyond. Space is not quiet: it is a continuous series of nuclear explosions that provide the material for new star systems to form and provide the challenge to explore. This book provides an assessment of the industrial capability required to construct and operate the necessary spacecraft. Time and distance communication and control limitations impose robotic constraints. Space environments restrict human sustained presence and put high demands on electronic, control and materials systems.

This comprehensive and authoritative book puts spacecraft propulsion systems in perspective, from earth orbit launchers to astronomical/space exploration vehicles. It includes new material on fusion propulsion, new figures and updates and expands the information given in the first edition.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Electric rockets explained - IAC - Propulsion space - Spacecraft engines - control

Related subjects » Astrophysics and Astroparticles - Extraterrestrial Physics, Space Sciences - Mechanical Engineering

Table of contents 

Overview.- Our progress appears to be impeded.- Commercial near-Earth space launcher: a perspective.- Commercial near-Earth launcher: propulsion.- Earth orbit on-orbit operations in near-Earth orbit, a necessary second step.- Earth-Moon system: establishing a Solar System presence.- Exploration of our Solar System.- Stellar and interstellar precursor missions.- View to the future and exploration of our Galaxy. 

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