The foundation of Space Technology and
Application is driven by Engineering. However, Engineers can only use the
physics that is laid before them. Of all the physical properties available
to engineers, the physics of energy-momentum transfer or propulsion is the
limiting factor in what can be accomplished in space. Current propulsion
systems are based on 300 year old Newtonian Physics. This drives most
earth-to-orbit space transfer systems to discard 80% to 90% (or more) of its
mass. This mass, mainly the propulsion system and its related subsystems,
together with the ground support of these systems drive the bulk of the $$
spent to get to space. Therefore one would think that finding new physical
properties within our current understanding or through new insights into the
physics related to energy-momentum transfer would be of main interest to the
space engineering community. Generally (with some limited exceptions),
this has not been the case over the history of space exploration.
Around 100 year ago,
physics was derived. However, with
the exception of
(a safe but perceived
public danger) and
(too low a thrust to be
practical), no new physics of energy momentum-transfer have arisen from Einstein
and Quantum physics capable of use by the space engineering communities. The
easy explanation for why, is that Einstein and Quantum physics were developed
about the same time and took separate paths. Einstein physics has become the
physics of the large scale (Cosmology and Astrophysics) while Quantum physics
has become the physics of the very small (Electronics, Superconductivity, and
High Energy Particle Physics). Betweens these two are found (for the most part)
the applied engineering fields that drive our technology developments. That is,
a separation of the physics communities exist; between which may reside new
physics of energy momentum-transfer. However, this arena is dominated by
engineering not science.
Engineering program managers rely on the science community to
determine where to focus their limited funding in the basic research areas
toward technology development. However, this separation of the science
communities has resulted in basic propulsion research to be non existence in the
space engineering communities and practically non existence in the science
communities, what is, is most often viewed as junk science.
We acknowledge that
exceptions to this maybe in black box programs that are unknown to us or the
public and will most cases likely never be known. For example read: Embracing
junk science: Imaginary Weapons: A Journey Through the Pentagon's Scientific
Underworld, by Sharon Weinberger.
The Coming Change:
Our knowledge of physics
changes with time. For example, ten years ago (in 1998), the concept of
was proven by the Cosmological
community to be drivers in the acceleration of the universe and is now an
accepted science of study in Cosmology, Astrophysics and High Energy Particle
and its siblings are arising to
explain such new phenomena giving more evidence to the changing science
communities. Therefore, Einstein and Quantum physics are beginning to merge
toward a more unified theory of physics. However, this may take many more
decades before a clear understanding is accomplished.
Progress toward a real solution for new physics of
energy-momentum transfer and new propulsion models requires an integration of
the sciences. The above shows that space sciences from Einstein and Quantum
physics to String and other theories are developing new theories and concepts
toward our understanding of the physical Universe. These new theories and
concepts provide the basis for basic research in space propulsion.
Further, the development of concepts for basic propulsion
research also suffers from a lack of integration into the energy community, with
some limited exception in nuclear (fission & fusion) and Magneto-hydrodynamics
(MHD), programs that come and go with no real progress toward a new solution.
The energy community is flooded with new and modified energy concepts. Can these
be integrated into viable energy-momentum transfer systems or into other space
applications? Probably, but without direct knowledge and support of the
space engineering community, it will take decades before such concepts find
their way into space applications.
For mankind to advance the physics of energy-momentum
transfer or propulsion, the science and engineering communities must be
integrated to some degree that allows for the rapid transfer of knowledge. Just
because theories and concepts fall on deaf ears in one field of science does not
mean it is useless in another. Such idealisms that place the burden of knowledge
holder on a given science or engineering fields forbids process in other fields
unless such is researched in all or has been acceptably done so in one. Under
such practices, it could be more than 100 yrs before the engineering communities
steps up to acknowledge the current developing theories and concepts.
Institute for Advanced Studies in the Space, Propulsion and Energy Sciences
wishes to be the foundation of this integration.