Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project

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The Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program (BPPP) (dt. About the project for groundbreaking drive physics ), a research and evaluation program was the US space agency NASA , the new and unconventional spacecraft propulsion explored.


The aim of the project was to examine fundamentally new possibilities for spacecraft propulsion and to check around 60 suggestions for their feasibility. In sub-projects such as the Quantum Vacuum Forces Project u. a. Researched vacuum energy , zero point energy , Casimir effect , warp drive , antigravity and faster than light speed .

The Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project took place from 1996 to 2002 at the Glenn Research Center as part of the NASA Advanced Space Transportation Program and was led by physicist Marc G. Millis . The total cost of the program was $ 1.6 million. Upon completion of the project, Millis established the Tau Zero Foundation , a private, non-profit research initiative dedicated to further research into new technologies and requirements for interstellar spaceflight. In April 2017, NASA commissioned the Tau Zero Foundation with the Interstellar Propulsion Review study.

In the Millennium Project of Lockheed Skunk Works and Project Greenglow of BAE Systems similar research efforts have been made. Greenglow was headed by Ronald Evans and officially discontinued in 2005. Development departments of other armaments companies , such as B. Boeing Phantom Works ( Project GRASP - Gravity Research for Advanced Space Propulsion ) and Northrop Black Widow dealt within the scope of secret military research programs , so-called Black Projects or Special Access Programs with propulsion technologies and new advanced flight and space systems, such as B. Aurora and Ayaks . China and other nations are also doing research in the field of alternative, unconventional drive systems (e.g. EmDrive ).


The NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts and the Advanced Concepts Team at ESA are researching the development of advanced concepts and methods for space travel. Also at NASA JSC in the Advanced Propulsion Physics Laboratory , informally also called “Eagleworks”, new drive technologies such as B. the Quantum Vacuum Plasma Thruster (Q-Thruster), researched and developed. New aspects and possibilities for the development of a warp drive were examined and presented at a symposium of the 100 Year Starship in September 2012. NASA Johnson Space Center and Dakota State University are planning a series of experiments with the White-Juday warp field interferometer , a kind of Michelson-Morley interferometer whether it might be possible in principle, the metric of spacetime (ger .: spacetime metric engineering ) and to make them usable for drive purposes in the future. At the Technical University of Dresden unconventional approaches to be Breakthrough Propulsion Physics of Martin Tajmar and his team researched. As part of the NIAC (NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts) program, NASA is researching other unconventional concepts such as: B. the Mach Effect Thruster .

See also


  • Marc G. Millis, Eric W. Davis: Frontiers of propulsion science. American Inst. Of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Reston 2009, ISBN 978-1-56347-956-4
  • Marc G. Millis: NASA breakthrough propulsion physics program. Acta Astronautica, Volume 44, Issues 2-4, January-February 1999, pp. 175-182.
  • Martin Tajmar : Breakthrough Propulsion , p. 115ff. in: ebender: Advanced space propulsion systems. Springer, Vienna 2003, ISBN 3-211-83862-7 .
  • Les Johnson, et al .: Development priorities for in-space propulsion technologies. Acta Astronautica, Vol. 82, Issue 2, Feb. 2013, pp. 148-152.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ NASA: Breakthrough Propulsion Physics
  2. ^ Emerging Possibilities for Space Propulsion Breakthroughs; Prospects for Breakthrough Propulsion From Physics, accessed September 21, 2012
  3. List of Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles Resulting from BPP Project Sponsorship
  4. Marc G.Millis: Prioritizing Pioneering Research. in: ebender: Frontiers of propulsion science. American Inst. Of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Reston 2009, ISBN 978-1-56347-956-4 , p. 663
  5. ^ Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project: Project Management Methods ., accessed August 22, 2012
  6. ^ G. Jordan Maclay, (et al.): Study of Vacuum Energy Physics for Breakthrough Propulsion., accessed August 22, 2012
  7. Quantum Vacuum Forces Project ( Memento from June 30, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  8. Study of Vacuum Energy Physics for Breakthrough Propulsion, pdf accessed on August 22, 2012
  9. Bio Marc G. Millis .
  10. Paul A. Gilster: Recent History of Breakthrough Propulsion Studies. in: Marc G. Millis, et al .: Frontiers of propulsion science. American Inst. Of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Reston 2009, ISBN 978-1-56347-956-4 , p. 11 ff.
  11. Kelvin F. Long: Deep space propulsion - a roadmap to interstellar flight. Springer, New York 2012, ISBN 978-1-4614-0606-8 . P. 294; google books , accessed August 17, 2012.
  12. ^ Tau Zero Foundation ( Memento from November 17, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  13. ABOUT TAU ZERO ( memento from September 25, 2011 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on November 6, 2011
  14. Reality check for starships
  15. NASA Awards Grant to Tau Zero, accessed May 4, 2017
  16. Marc G. Millis, Eric W. Davis: Frontiers of propulsion science. American Inst. Of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Reston 2009, ISBN 978-1-56347-956-4 . Project Greenglow , pp. 17-19
  17. ^ William B. Scott: To the Stars. Aviation Week & Space Technology, March 2004, pp. 50-53, pdf ., accessed August 8, 2011
  18. James F. Woodward: Making starships and stargates: the science of interstellar transport and absurdly benign wormholes. Springer, New York 2013, ISBN 978-1-4614-5622-3 , p. 186 google books , accessed June 12, 2013
  19. Project Greenglow and the battle with gravity, accessed on May 3, 2016; Ronald Evans: Greenglow - and the search for gravity control. Matador, Kibworth 2015, ISBN 978-1-78462-023-3 .
  20. ^ New technology from 'black world' ( Memento from March 15, 2012 in the Internet Archive ); See for Yourself: The Pentagon's $ 51 Billion 'Black' Budget; Retrieved September 20, 2012
  21. Go Inside the $ 56 Billion 'Black' Budget; Project Grasp: Boeing wants to partially cancel gravity ( memento from January 10, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  22. Exotic Propulsion Aircraft ( Memento from December 2, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) & Special Access Programs and the Defense Budget: Understanding the "Black Budget (PDF; 931 kB) ; Inside the Black Budget
  23. EmDrive: China's radical new space drive, accessed October 9, 2013
  24. NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC).
  25. Advanced concepts team ., accessed May 19, 2019
  26. Eagleworks Laboratories: Advanced Propulsion Physics Research (PDF; 857 kB); DRAFT In-Space Propulsion Systems Road map Technology Area 02, pdfs, accessed September 20, 2012
  27. “Star Trek” becomes reality: NASA is researching warp drives; NASA working on faster-than-light drive capable of WARP TEN; NASA Actually Working on Faster-than-Light Warp Drive, accessed September 20, 2012
  28. Warp Field Mechanics 101, pdf, accessed on September 21, 2012
  29. ^ A Lab Experiment to Test Spacetime Distortion; Clarifying NASA's Warp Drive Program, accessed October 9, 2013
  30. ^ White, Harold G .: A Discussion of Space-Time Metric Engineering. General Relativity and Gravitation, v.35, Issue 11, pp. 2025-2033 (2003), bibcode : 2003GReGr..35.2025W .
  31. space propulsion and new concepts, accessed on 18 December 2013
  32. Mach Effects for In Space Propulsion: Interstellar Mission
  33. 22 bold ideas for the space travel of the future; NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program accessed June 3, 2017