Lockheed Martin is making news this week with declarations about putting the Atomic Age on Restart and advancing in the realm of energy. "We are on the fast track to developing compact nuclear fusion reactors to serve the world's ever-growing energy needs."
The company's Skunk Works has provided new details to the public about its work in compact fusion. "At Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, we're making advancements in the development of fusion energy, the ultimate form of renewable power. Our scientists and engineers are looking at the biggest natural fusion reactor for inspiration – the sun. By containing the power of the sun in a small magnetic bottle, we are on the fast track to developing compact fusion reactors to serve the world's ever-growing energy needs." Thomas McGuire, compact fusion project lead, said they think they can get to a prototype in about five years. "That's what we are doing here; we are testing the concept out." He said, 50 years ago when people were "super-excited" about nuclear power, "we tried putting it on everything," including airplanes. He said some big operational issues prevented widespread use. "Fusion is a much safer option," he stated. The next generation of airplanes not relying on fuel can just stay aloft—with unlimited range, unlimited endurance. That's what nuclear fusion can do for an airplane.