National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Bryan Palaszewski

June 11, 2013

Nuclear and Future Flight Propulsion & Advanced Propulsion Concepts: From Chemical Propulsion to Interstellar Flight

Bryan Palaszewski is a member of the Combustion Branch in the Aeropropulsion Division at Glenn Research Center and is currently directing research on high performance propellants, atmospheric entry and in-situ resource utilization.

This presentation encompassed the history and present state of research into advanced propulsion concepts for space exploration for various stages of flight. Palaszewski illustrated techniques for increasing payload mass and efficiency during lift off, reducing trip time and power requirements during space flight, and in-situ resource utilization for various planetary bodies. Concepts discussed included improved propellants, such as gelled and monopropellants, advanced technologies, such as beamed energy and laser supported combustion, and nuclear systems that utilize thermal and radiative energies. Furthermore, Palaszewski concluded that the future of human and robotic exploration of space would require the pursuit of these, and other, advanced propulsion concepts.