Lunch & Learn with Special Guest Dr. Albert Allen Jackson IV

Join AIAA Houston Section for a hybrid Lunch & Learn event with special guest Dr. Albert Allen Jackson IV, this Friday
26th, 2024 at 11:30 CST in person and over Google Meet.

Sign up to attend: Lunch-n-Learn Sign UP

“The Interstellar Ramjet: A Technical History”

In 1960 Robert Bussard published a solution to the mass ratio problem for interstellar flight. He laid out
the design of a starship that scooped interstellar hydrogen compressed it in a fusion reactor, extracted energy
and produced thrust. The process is similar to a terrestrial ramjet.
Bussard outlined the propulsion method, presented the equations of
motion and made general assessments of performance and
propulsion efficiency.

Sagan suggested magnetic ‘scoops’ for collecting working
matter from the interstellar medium. Fishback in 1969 calculated
important limitations on the ramjet magnetic intake and quantified
drag and radiation losses for the ramjet.
Fishback showed there was a limiting Lorentz factor for an
interstellar ramjet imposed by the material properties of the scoop

Tony Martin expanded Fishback study and made some
important observations. The main problem with the concept was
using proton-proton reactions for fusion, this proves very difficult.
In 1975 Dan Whitmire made progress towards solving the fusion reactor problem of the interstellar ramjet
by noting that one could use the CNO process rather than the PP mechanism as method of fusion operation.
Bond and Jackson suggested alternative ramjet operation using augmentation. An alternative to the
Bussard Ramjet was presented in 1977. The Laser Powered Interstellar Ramjet, LPIR. This vehicle uses a
solar system-based laser beaming power to a vehicle which scoops interstellar hydrogen and uses a linear
accelerator to boost the collected particle energy for propulsion bypassing fusion reactor problems.

More phone numbers:
Or dial: (US) +1 314-474-3017 PIN: 913 841 786#

Hope to see you there!

AIAA Houston Section

2014 Annual Technical Symposium

See the Poster (MS PowerPoint), Early Warning Flyer (PDF), Call for Abstracts (PDF), and Short Program (PDF).


Registration Options

  • $15 for AIAA Student Members (lunch included)
  • $20 for AIAA  and INCOSE Members (lunch included)
  • $25 for Non-Members (lunch included)

Note: Civil servants need to contact their Organization’s Conference POC/Training Coordinator by April 10th to be registered to attend.


08:00 – Registration
08:15 – Keynote speaker
09:00 – Morning Sessions
12:00 – Luncheon
13:30 – Afternoon Sessions

See the 2014 program (PDF). Check back often as this program will grow.
(Current as of May 2, 2014)

Important Dates to Remember

Monday, April 21, 2014 – Abstracts due to planning committee (contact us sooner if possible)
Monday, April 28, 2014 – Abstract authors notified of abstract acceptance
Thursday, May 1, 2014 – Luncheon Reservations (pay online at time of RSVP)
Friday, May 9, 2014 – Registration (all day, starting at 8:00 AM)

More information and abstract information is available on the 2014 ATS page.


Walk-In Registration:

ATS Volunteer Sign Up:

AIAA Houston ATS Kickoff with Cdr. Chris Cassidy: Go for EVA – words that all astronauts want to hear!

AIAA Houston welcomes Commander Chris Cassidy to kickoff our Annual Technical Symposium with his presentation, “Go for EVA – words that all astronauts want to hear!” Before becoming an Astronaut, Commander Chris Cassidy served 10 years as a Navy Seal. He made four six-month deployments: two to Afghanistan, and two to the Mediterranean. He deployed to the Afghanistan region two weeks after 9/11/01, served as Ground Assault Force Commander for international and U.S.-only combat missions in Afghanistan, and led two months of noncompliant ship-boardings in the Northern Arabian Gulf. In 2004 Commander Cassidy was selected as an astronaut by NASA. Before completing his first flight, he served as Capsule Communicator(CAPCOM) in Mission Control. Commander Cassidy flew on STS 127 which helped complete the construction of the Japanese Kibo module on the International Space Station. Most recently, Cassidy served as a flight engineer on Expedition 35/36, living and working on the station for more than five months. During his NASA career, Cassidy has completed six spacewalks, totaling 31 hours, 14 minutes and has accumulated 182 days in space.

Please RSVP by choosing a meal (dessert included) below and we will see you on May 8th to kick off our Annual Technical Symposium!




Parmesan Chicken:



Walk In Registration:


No Meal Options: