In the IEEE Spectrum, “NASA’s New Shortcut to Fusion Power, Lattice confinement fusion eliminates massive magnets and powerful lasers,”the authors explain how NASA is turning its attention to lattice confinement fusion (LCF), a fusion in which hydrogen is bound in a metal lattice, encouraging positively charged nuclei to fuse. Read Full Article
The authors and other scientists and engineers at NASA Glenn Research Center are investigating whether this approach can provide enough power to operate robotic probes on the surface of Mars, for instance. The good news: LCF would eliminate the need for fissile materials such as enriched uranium. The process would also be less expensive, smaller, and safer than other ways of harnessing nuclear energy.