Mr. Fusion? Compact Fusion Reactor Will be Available in 5 Years Says Lockheed-Martin

Could the future of fusion driven rockets for interplantary or even interstellar travel be near at hand? Engineers at the Lockheed-Martin Skunk Works believe they will have a compact fusion reactor prototype operational in five years and in use within 10 years. (Illustration Credit:© David A. Hardy/www.astroart.org,  Project Daedalus)

The Farnsworth Fusor; Pons and Fleishmann. It seems the trail to fusion energy has long gone cold — stone cold, that is, and not cold as in cold fusion. Despite the promise of fusion providing a sustainable and safe energy source, fusion reactors are not a dime a dozen and they won’t be replacing coal fired power plants any time soon. Or will they? Lockheed-Martin Skunk Works announced a prototype compact fusion reactor that could be ready within five years. This revelation has raised eyebrows and sparked moments of enthusiasm.

But, let’s considers this story and where it all fits in both the history and future.

For every Skunk Works project that has made the runway such as the Stealth Fighter or SR-71 Blackbird, there are untold others that never see the light of day. This adds to the surprise and mystery of Lockheed-Martin’s willingness to release images and a detailed narrative describing a compact fusion reactor project. The impact that such a device would have on humanity can be imagined … and at the same time one imagines how much is unimaginable.

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