A new concept for a relativistic space propulsion system.
This article presents in the most general and brief form possible, a concept that I came up with when I was about 14 years old and that I forgot until recently… and I finally stopped postponing its publication.
The concept is quite simple:
Nuclear Fission proceses release Neutrons with different levels of kinetic energy that can be controlled by different methods.
Fast & Ultra-fast Neutrons have velocities ranging from 14,000 km/s to 50,000 km/s. The emission of these Neutrons can be directed to generate trust, as seen in the concept presented in the image below.
A concave shape of a Neutron-reflector material like Graphite, with a Radioactive core in its center, would generate forward thrust for thousands of years with a maximum speed of 50,000 km/s.
*** Post-publication Correction:
The device can accelerate asymptotically up to the Speed of Light (~299,000 km/s), given that impulse will be always provided independently of Neutron speeds.
This propulsion system could power probes and vehicles for interstellar and deep space travel.