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Magnetic Sail

Award Information

Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch:
N/A
Award ID:
56446
Program Year/Program:
2002 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
012399
Solicitation Year:
N/A
Solicitation Topic Code:
N/A
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Small Business Information
Pioneer Astronautics
11111 West 8th Avenue, Unit A Lakewood, CO 80215-5516
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
 
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2002
Title: Magnetic Sail
Agency: NASA
Contract: NAS8-01154
Award Amount: $69,980.00
 

Abstract:

The magnetic sail, or magsail is a concept which propels spacecraft by using the magnetic field generated by a loop of superconducting cable to deflect interplanetary or interstellar plasma winds. Assuming high temperature superconductors with the same current/mass ratio as existing low temperature superconductors, a magsail sailing on the solar wind at a radius of one AU can attain accelerations on the order of 0.01 m/s2, much greater than that available from a conventional solar lightsail. A net tangential force, or lift can also be generated. Using these forces, a magsail can transfer payloads to and from any two circular orbits in the solar system in a flight time slightly larger than the Hohmann ballistic transfer time without the expenditure of propellant. A magsail operating within the magnetosphere could interact with the Earth's magnetic poles to generate a series of perigee kicks to drive a payload of several times the magsail's e mass to interplanetary space in times scales of a few months. Magsails can also be made to interact with planetary ionospheres to lower orbits. Magsails could be used to create drag against the interstellar medium to decelerate ultrafast interstellar spacecraft, thereby enabling flights to the stars.

Principal Investigator:

Robert Zubrin
Principal Investigator
3039800890
zubrin@aol.com

Business Contact:

Robert Zubrin
Business Official
3039800890
zubrin@aol.com
Small Business Information at Submission:

Pioneer Astronautics
11111 W. 8th Avenue, Unit A Lakewood, CO 80215

EIN/Tax ID: 841322304
DUNS: N/A
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No