|United States Patent||5,239,820|
|Leifer, et. al.||Aug. 31, 1993|
|Inventors:||Leifer; Stephanie D. (Pasadena, CA); Saunders; Winston A. (So. Pasadena, CA).|
|Assignee:||California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA).|
|Filed:||Dec. 3, 1992|
|Intl. Cl.:||F03H 1/00;|
|U.S. Cl.:||60/202.; 60/204.;|
|Field of Search:||200.1;202;203.1;204;253 |
|3,898,798||Aug., 1975||Williams||60/203 .1|
|5,114,477||May, 1992||Mort et al.||106/472|
Primary Examiner: Casaregola; Louis J.
Fullerene propellants, which are stable carbon cage structures composed of even numbers of carbon atoms in the range of about 32 to 200 atoms, particularly a combination of conveniently obtainable C(60) and C(70), may be carried in solid form in a spacecraft, sublimated to produce the appropriate molecular propellant such as C(60) or C(70), which may then be ionized by DC discharge or RF radiation to efficiently produce specific impulses in the range above 1000 lbf -s/lbm.
The invention described herein was made in the performance of work under a NASA contract, and is subject to the provisions of Public Law 96-517 (35 USC 202) in Which the Contractor has elected to retain title.