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Lockheed Martin invests in fusion spacecraft propulsion startup

Lockheed Martin invests in fusion spacecraft propulsion startup

"Fusion Spacecraft Propulsion"

Lockheed Martin Ventures has made a notable investment in Helicity Space, a California-based startup working on fusion engines for spacecraft propulsion. This investment not only displays Lockheed Martin’s commitment to innovative space technologies but also contributes greatly to funding Helicity’s future projects.

Helicity Space’s unique approach uses short bursts of fusion to propel spacecraft, a method that could potentially take spacecraft further using less fuel. The technology has won the faith of contributors such as Airbus Ventures and Voyager Space Holdings. The company’s patents testify to their commitment to innovation in the space industry.

Lockheed Martin is also collaborating with NASA and the Defense Research Projects Agency. They are exploring alternative propulsion systems to revolutionize space travel beyond the Moon. Leveraging solar electric propulsion technology is one of their strategies – a technology that could dramatically reduce fuel load and open up opportunities for longer, diverse missions.

Chris Moran, Vice President and General Manager of Lockheed Martin Ventures, acknowledged the challenges posed by traditional heavy fuel-based propulsion methods for Mars missions.

Lockheed Martin backs fusion-propelled space venture

He sees Helicity’s plasma fusion technology as a potential solution. “Helicity’s plasma fusion technology could provide a promising solution to this problem,” says Moran.

But Lockheed Martin’s assistance to Helicity isn’t just financial. The company has agreed to fund testing with four plasma guns to mitigate risks and assess the feasibility of Helicity’s goals. Lockheed Martin is also offering technical expertise and resources to reinforce Helicity’s developmental efforts. Further insights from the planned plasma gun tests could significantly influence the future of plasma propulsion and reveal new opportunities for space exploration and transport.

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Helicity Space sees Lockheed Martin as both a major partner and long-term customer. The company hopes this collaboration will help it enter the defence sector, receive government aid, and confirm the legitimacy of their technological advancements. Lockheed’s usual start-up investments range from $1 to $5 million, suggesting Helicity has risen to a new level of trust and potential within the industry.

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