Ever since the 1950s, the promise of unlimited power from controlled nuclear fusion has been just around the corner—or, to be more precise, about fifty years in the future. It’s still fifty years in the future, according to most experts.
Well, the people at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works (creators of the famed SR-71 Blackbird spy plane), say they’re going to do it a lot faster. Here’s a talk by Charles Chase, of the Skunk Works. You can skip the first half of it, if you know more or less what fusion research is all about.
A lot was left unsaid, obviously, such as how close they have come to break-even—i.e., more energy coming out of the system from fusion reactions than is being put in. I’m skeptical of the claim, myself, but I would love to be proven wrong. For one thing, the application to space travel could be fantastic.
I guess we’ll wait and see. Usually the Skunk Works doesn’t advertise what they’re up to. Why is this different?