Scientists Firing The VASIMR Plasma Rocket

This video shows what it's like to fire the VASIMR plasma rocket, the highest power steady-state electric propulsion device in the world, located in Houston TX. Video was taken with the POV.1.5 camera which sports a wide angle lens. Two scientists sit at the command and control computer, and one scientist observes the exhaust plume. The VASIMR VX-200 rocket is located within a vacuum chamber, which simulates the vacuum of space. The cryo-compressors for several vacuum cryo-pumps can be heard in the background. When the rocket fires, valves for liquid nitrogen can be heard opening, which is accompanied by a hiss of gaseous nitrogen. The blue flashing light indicates that the VX-200 superconducting magnet is energized, and the red flashing light indicates that the electrical power for the rocket is enabled. Ad Astra Rocket Companys VASIMR® VX-200 rocket prototype reached its highly-coveted 200 kW maximum power milestone at 11:59 am (CST) September 30th 2009 in tests conducted at the companys Houston laboratory. The DC power trace actually exceeded the design requirement by 1 kW and exhibited the clear signature of a well established plateau at peak power. The achievement comes after an intense experimental campaign that began in April 2009 when the engine was fitted with a powerful low temperature superconducting magnet, a critical component that enables VASIMR® to process large amounts of plasma power. The electrical power processing is accomplished using high efficiency ...

Author benwl
Duration 23 seconds
Rating Best

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