Marshall Takes Flight Into The New Millennium

By Marc Boucher
November 24, 1999
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Looking ahead to advanced propulsion systems is one of the mandates of the Marshall Space Flight Center. As we
head into the new millennium Marshall has just released some new artists concepts of future
advanced propulsion systems.

“If you look at where we were as a civilization 1,000 years ago, or just 100 years ago,” said Garry Lyles, manager of the
Advanced Space Transportation Program at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., “it’s quite realistic
to expect human settlements in space in the 21st century.”

Development of space and in particular near earth space will
largely depend on reducing the cost of sending payloads into
space. Today it costs $10,000 per pound on average. Marshall
hopes “to reduce that cost to only hundreds of dollars
per pound by 2025.”

Dr. Row Rogacki director of the Space Transportation Directorate at the Marshall Center
believes that by reducing these costs industry will expand
into space. Prospecting asteroids and building orbital
drug factories are two examples he cites.

Marshall is experimenting with air-breathing rockets, antimatter,
fusion and fission as propulsion alternatives for deep space

The following links show the artists concepts for these advanced propulsion systems.

  • An artist’s concept of a space sail, which could be used for third millennium space transportation.
  • An artist’s concept of antimatter propulsion.
  • An artist’s concept of beamed energy.
  • An artist’s concept of an air-breathing rocket vehicle.

    Related Links:

  • SpaceRef Future Technology directory.
  • SpaceRef co-founder, entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, nature lover and deep thinker.