Pulsar Fusion test a plasma space thruster for research project
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Pulsar Fusion Ltd, a UK nuclear fusion company based in Bletchley, launched their revolutionary rocket engine from the Ministry of Defence military base in Salisbury on November 17 and 18. Their new rocket engines could be used in a number of exciting ways, including launching people and satellites into space faster than fuel-powered rockets.
Company CEO Richard Dinan said this highlights Britain’s innovation capabilities – and signals a very important moment for UK science.
He told Express.co.uk: “We have some of the very best rocket scientists in this part of the world.
“It is immensely significant for us to have test fired a working rocket engine in the UK, built in the UK by British scientists, fantastic.”
While this kind of technology is not new, Mr Dinan said he is now looking to capitalise on the huge market currently seen in the US
He said: “There is a huge market for people who want to travel into space now.
“For the UK it’s pretty exciting – how often do you read about a rocket launch in the UK?”
Pulsar also decided to stick a Union Jack flag onto the rocket before blast off.
Mr Dinan said: “It deserved the Union Jack on the side of it, it was built in England by British people and it’s a British rocket test so that is why it was there.”
While the company has already built engines which can move from the ground to low-Earth orbit, they have ambitions to go further.
The company is also hoping to build hyper-speed propulsion engines using nuclear fusion technologies which could eventually be used for interplanetary travel.
Scientists believe these types of engines could slash the journey time from Earth to Mars by half.
The rocket engine used in Pulsar’s recent test was a ‘green’ (non-toxic) hybrid rocket engine combusts nitrous oxide (N2O) oxidiser and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) fuel and oxygen.
Mr Dinan said: “This is quite rare in rockets, to create a clean engine.
“We built them at record speeds and it’s a really great engine to be manufacturing
“It is ideal for getting people from the ground to space, and it’s fine for moving satellites around in space and for space tourism, it’s powerful enough to do that.”
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Mr Dinan also said that Pulsar Fusion is now hoping to raise £200million to build “very significant” tests, and said that it does not need to team up support from big American companies like Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin or Elon Musk’s SpaceX to rely on success.
He told Express.co.uk: “We have created an awful lot of value on a small amount of investment.
“We don’t feel the need to hand this over to the big American companies.”
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