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Large scale directed energy offers the possibility of radical transformation in a variety of areas,including the ability to achieve relativistic flight that will enable the first interstellar missions as well as rapid inter-planetary transit. In addition, the same technology opens a wide mission space that allows a diverse range of optionsfrom long range beamed power to remote spacecraft and outposts to planetary defense to remote composition anal-ysis and manipulation of asteroids, among others. Directed energy relies on photonics, which like electronics is anexponentially expanding growth area driven by diverse economic interests that allows transformational advances inspace exploration and capability. In order to begin to fully exploit this capability it is important to understand notonly the possibilities enabled by it, but also the technological challenges involved and to have a logical roadmapto exploit this option. This capability is both synergistic with conventional propulsion and offers a road to a futurecurrently not possible with conventional capabilities.

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Category: Science