In the near future, only in a few decades, space travel could look like this: huge flying platforms that are propelled by pure fusion detonations start from earth’s surface and fly nonstop to mars and land there after a few weeks in it’s desert near a building site. A ticket to mars will be affordable for most people. The platforms are made of concrete and construction steel and of 30,000 metric tons mass. The technology is rather primitive but complicated. The more mass the better for the vessels. The power of the fusion detonations is huge. The fuels are liquid deuterium for the fusion pulse units with liquid methane, oxygen and tritium for the pure fusion primary igniters. Pure fusion detonators are possible, there’s a chance that they already secretely exist in the arsenals. The energy of fusion propulsion is 10,000 times more than that of chemical propulsion. This and its side effects makes the tickets up to 50,000 times cheaper. Trips to earth orbit will cost $1000, to the moon and back $5000, to mars and back $20,000, value in currency of 2012. I know that this sounds unbelievable, but I will convince You with physical and engineering arguments in the following text.
This is a proposal of a construction platform based on Orion technology. It shall be based on the moon, where it is serviced and maintenanced, and shall be used primary at building sites in lunar orbit. It’s technology traces back to the Orion project. Orion was a space ship that was developed theoretically and with smaller prototypes in the 50th and 60th. It had a nuclear pulse engine. This means it provided huge energy and therefore – first – a high specific impulse, and – second – as well a very high thrust. The Orion nuclear engine is the only known propulsion principle, that can offer both at the same time. This is because of the immense nuclear power of atomic bombs. [If you are interested in that topic also have a look on my newer and much more detailed article Flying Platforms with Nuclear Pulse Propulsion]