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Propulsion Research

  1. Dec 4, 2009 #1
    I'm curious, what do you think the "next generation" space propulsion technologies will be, and what would be the best college major in order to do research in that field?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 16, 2010 #2
    Any chance this can get a reply? My specialty will likely be in space propulsion, so I'm interested in this as well.

    Edit: And which colleges' aerospace grad school has a good propulsion program?
  4. Aug 17, 2010 #3
    NASA scientists are convinced that VASIMR (variable specific impulse magnetoplasma rocket) will be much more efficient and faster than a conventional chemical-powered rocket.
    However, I still believe the "next generation" space propulsion engines will be something more unconventional than what was envisaged by theorists.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  5. Aug 17, 2010 #4
    I also would like to inquire on schools both undergrad and graduate schools that will be good for this career path. Any part of the US is good, but the only undergrad program I saw was at Embry-Riddle University that fit anything I was looking for (their AZ campus).
  6. Aug 17, 2010 #5
    Actually, if anyone knows a lot about this area and the specific knowledge needed to do research in this field (such as recommended coursework in physics and maths etc). I would love to hear!

    Also what is research in space propulsion like? I checked MIT's space propulsion group bu there's only so much info on their site.
  7. Aug 17, 2010 #6


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    Look at this concept: DS4G - www.esa.int/gsp/ACT/pro/pp/DS4G/background.htm[/URL]
    [PLAIN]http://www.esa.int/gsp/ACT/pro/pp/DS4G/DS4G%20description.html [Broken]

    Dual Stage Four Grid Thruster Development — Plasma Research Laboratory

    About 25 years ago, I had contacted a graduate from Princeton regarding his research in magnetoplasmadynamic systems. I believe that a university with physics, engineering science/physcis and aerospace program would have a good chance of having a propulsion program.


    I'd recommend finding journal articles on the advanced concepts and finding authors affiliated with a university.

    Also, one could check out AIAA - www.aiaa.org[/url] and IEEE - [url]www.ieee.org[/URL].

    See this abstract - [PLAIN]http://pdf.aiaa.org/preview/CDReadyMJPC06_1178/PV2006_4669.pdf [Broken]

    AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference
    47th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference (2011)
    http://www.aiaa.org/content.cfm?pageid=230&lumeetingid=2424&viewcon=submit [Broken]

    Universities that one could look into are:

    Advanced Electric Propulsion at the University of Washington (dated 2004)

    Georgia Tech

    http://www.princeton.edu/mae/research/lasers/ [Broken]

    U. of Michigan
    http://aerospace.engin.umich.edu/ERPS/ [Broken]
    http://aerospace.engin.umich.edu/ERPS/members.html [Broken]

    Michigan/AFRL Center of Excellence in Electric Propulsion (MACEEP) Established

    See also - 2009 International Electric Propulsion Conference at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (USA)
    http://www.iepc2009.org/ and search internet for "International Electric Propulsion Conference"

    USC - http://www.usc.edu/dept/publication...neering/astronautics/degree_requirements.html

    Other possibilities

    See this bio - http://www.af.mil/information/bios/bio.asp?bioID=12366
    1986 Bachelor of Science degrees in physics and mathematics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
    1990 Master of Science degree in nuclear engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.
    1992 Doctor of Philosophy degree in plasma physics, University of Washington, Seattle

    There is also a new forum - Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space (NETS-2011)



    http://www.redking.me.uk/scitech/space/really_advanced_spacecraft_propulsion_research.pdf [Broken]

    FYI - http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1997ESASP.398...45B

    There's lots more too. I attended a predecessor meeting to NETS about 24 years ago.

    Programs in space exploration and development.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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