To the Moon and Back: Vacuum Chamber Experiments of Beamed Microwave Energy Propulsion

N. Nigay, C. H. Ho, S. G. Bilen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In 1965, a paper titled 'Microwave Rocket Concept' was published discussing the possibility of utilizing high-powered microwave discharge for propulsion,1 pioneering research in the field of beamed microwave energy propulsion (BMEP). While a traditional propulsion device produces thrust through chemical combustion, a BMEP device generates thrust by adding external energy-e.g., microwaves-to heat a propellant. Separating the energy source from the vehicle results in mass savings, and since BMEP does not rely on the limited energy stored in chemical bonds, it has the potential to increase efficiency over chemical rockets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationICOPS 2023 - 50th IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9798350302660
StatePublished - 2023
Event50th IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science, ICOPS 2023 - Santa Fe, United States
Duration: May 21 2023May 25 2023

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Plasma Science
ISSN (Print)0730-9244


Conference50th IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science, ICOPS 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySanta Fe

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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