I'm designing what I call a "fusion thermal drive" for my world.
- The drive's purpose is brachistochrone-based intra-system travel.
- The maximum specific impulse of about 16 hours.
- The top thrust is 0.5G.
Using some online calculators:
- A 100-ton ship with 65 tons of reactive mass,
- a specific impulse of 57,600 seconds (16 hours)
- and an exhaust velocity of ~565km/s,
...would have a delta-V of about 280km/s, which is exactly what I'm looking for on the high end.
Water (or liquid hydrogen, I haven't decided yet) will be pumped over a deuterium-deuterium fusion reactor to super-heat it for the purpose of thrust (explosive vaporization).
Is my hypothetical fusion thermal drive capable of achieving these results, at least in theory?
- You may assume that materials science has significantly advanced, making materials a non-issue for this question.