Rocket Science pp 209-257 | Cite as

Into the Future

  • Mark Denny
  • Alan McFadzean


Herein we consider the cost of getting to space and contemplate the value of sending people there. Thereafter we examine other propulsion systems—things that are still rockets but are certainly not chemical rocket motors . Some of those are already in everyday use, some will exist one day and some probably never will but are still areas of active study because they just might take us to the stars. We’ll look at what might be required for interstellar travel before considering a propulsion concept that could possibly achieve it, albeit without rockets. Finally we will indulge ourselves with a quick stroll through a few flights of fancy pertaining to the wilder fringes of space travel after rockets.

Reference Works

  1. Alcubierre, M. “The warp drive: hyper-fast travel within general relativity.” Classical and Quantum Gravity 11 (1994) L73-L77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aravind, P.K. “The physics of the space elevator.” Am. J. Phys. 75 (2007) 125–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bennet, J. “‘Mars Engine’ Shatters Record for Ion Propulsion.” Popular Mechanics (October 24, 2017) at
  4. Bussard, R. W. “Galactic Matter and Interstellar Flight.” Acta Astronautica 6 (1960) 179–195.Google Scholar
  5. Crawford, I.A. “Lunar Resources: A Review.” Progress in Physical Geography 39 (2015) 137–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Denny, M. “Space tether dynamics: an introduction.” Eur. J. Phys. 39 (2018) 035007 (9pp).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dyson, G. Project Orion – The True Story of the Atomic Spaceship. (New York, Henry Holt & Co., 2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Globus, A. and Hall, T. “Space Settlement Population Rotation Tolerance”, NSS Space Settlement Journal 2 (2017) 1–25Google Scholar
  9. Jackson, A. “Some Considerations on the Antimatter and Fusion Ram Augmented Interstellar Rocket.” Journal of the British Interplanetary Society 33 (1980) 117–120.Google Scholar
  10. Jones, H.W. “The Recent Large Reduction in Space Launch Cost,” 48th International Conference on Environmental Systems (ICES-2018-81, Albuquerque, 2018)Google Scholar
  11. Long, K.F. Deep Space Propulsion: A Roadmap to Interstellar Flight. (New York: Springer, 2012).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Pultarova, T. “Ion Thruster Prototype Breaks Record in Tests, Could Send Humans to Mars.” (October 13, 2017) at
  13. Schmidt G.R., Bunornetti, J.A. and Morton, P.J. “Nuclear Pulse Propulsion – Orion and Beyond” 36th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference & Exhibit, (AIAA, 2000). (
  14. Shawyer, R. “Second-generation EmDrive propulsion applied to SSTO launcher and interstellar probe.” Acta Astronautica 116 (2015) 166–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Tajmar, M., Kößling, M., Weikert, M. and Monette, M. “The SpaceDrive Project – First Results on EMDrive and Mach-Effect Thrusters.”, Space Propulsion Conference, Seville, Spain (2018).Google Scholar
  16. Thompson, A. “Russia Might Actually Build A Nuclear-Powered Rocket.” Popular Mechanics (November 16, 2018). Also at
  17. Williams, M. “NASA Reignites Program for Nuclear-Thermal Rockets.” Universe Today (August 11, 2017). At
  18. Woodward, J.F. “A new experimental approach to Mach’s principle and relativistic gravitation.” Foundations of Physics Letters 3 (1990) 497–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Woodward, J.F. “Breakthrough Propulsion and the Foundations of Physics.” Foundations of Physics Letters 16 (2003) 25–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Yirka, B. “Team tests feasibility of EmDrive and Mach Effect Thrusters.” (May 23, 2018)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Denny
    • 1
  • Alan McFadzean
    • 2
  1. 1.VictoriaCanada
  2. 2.EdinburghUK

Personalised recommendations