Concepts and status of laser-supported rocket propulsion

Ronald J. Glumb, Herman Krier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Laser propulsion, a unique new system in which thrust is produced by the absorption of remote laser energy, has several distinct advantages over existing forms of propulsion. This article is intended as an overview of the status of laser propulsion based on a review of the scientific literature. Included in the discussion is an evaluation of the advantages and limitations of laser propulsion, as well as the types of missions for which it can best be used. The various types of proposed thrusters are also discussed, focusing on operation, current research, and unresolved problems. Also included is a thorough list of references documenting the research in this relatively young field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-79
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Spacecraft and Rockets
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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