Help Make Space Travel Affordable by Backing Propulsion ResearchWe've written about Kickstarter campaigns before, but few are as important as this one. A company called HyperV is trying to build working plasma engines for cheap. When finished, their impulse drives will have the highest efficiency in the field, and be one of the cheapest options regardless. An engine like this could enable a cubesat to move anywhere in the solar system, or enable a larger ship to speed up slowly and efficiently for a long flight to, say, Neptune.
Open shutter image of an approximately 10 microsecond long plasma pulse in visible light.
But the boys at HyperV need our help. They launched a Kickstarter campaign in an attempt to get the funding they need to finish their prototype, but the campaign hasn't reached completion yet. And there are only two days left to raise their $69,000 goal. I've kicked in as much as I can, so now it's my turn to ask you for help. Lets get these people over the hump and back to work!
When completed, this plasma impulse engine should be able to get craft up to speeds of 12.5 miles a second and greater. Speaking about why their system is better than competing technologies, which offer either higher efficiency or greater thrust, the Kickstarter campaign states:
Our advantages will be derived from a thruster that is less complex ... [and] which can use a variety of propellants including gases, inert plastics, and propellants derived from asteroids, Mars [and] the moon
read a statement on the company's Kickstarter page.
It will also be far cheaper to build, and can be more readily scaled to larger sizes and very high power levels than current electric propulsion systems.
HyperV Technologies' plasma jet testing facility.
So please, lets make the future of spaceflight a reality. Its about time that we began thinking outside the orbit of the Earth. But to do so, we must be able to get there.