The Fusion Industry Association is recommending a $40 million fusion propulsion funding program, styled similarly to ARPA-E and DARPA, in order to put the United States in the optimal position to win the “Deep Space Race.”
While the United States is the current leader in space exploration, the gap is closing, and countries like China and Russia are challenging the U.S., each trying to be the first country to colonize Mars and spread their reach throughout the solar system.
Unlike chemical propulsion, fusion technology will be able to bring heavy loads, like humans, to Mars and back home rapidly. In fact, “Fusion propulsion is up to 100 times more fuel-efficient than chemical propulsion, while still maintaining large thrusts—making it the best option for transporting large payloads to distant destinations.”
Not only has fusion technology advanced significantly over the years, but several companies, members of the Fusion Industry Association, have already begun development on fusion propulsion systems. Unfortunately, other countries have also taken note on the effective nature of fusion, investing in nuclear technologies to further advance in their efforts to be the first to truly explore the solar system.
In order to persist as the leading global power in space, it is time for the United States to recognize that compact fusion energy will enable leadership in the "Deep Space Race." The U.S. is obligated to directly fund fusion technology programs for $40 million, about 1/20 the cost of a Mars rover, to transform the current methods of exploration and unlock substantial economic progress for the United States.
The official paper is embedded below and is available for download.