15. Is VASIMR® propulsion a hoax?
No. The slanderous comment about Dr. Franklin Chang Diaz’ research of more than 30 years was merely sensational fodder for the press. It was made by an individual who never visited the MIT or NASA facilities where the research originated or the Ad Astra Rocket Company laboratories where the development continues and, despite an open invitation, has never bothered to see any of the prototypes being fired in the vacuum chamber and reviewed the copious amounts of calibrated and validated data available. It is unclear whether this person has read or understood the numerous peer-reviewed and published articles regarding this work. There was never a clear explanation for his remark other than alluding that there is, today, no “shelf-ready” nuclear electric reactor to power the engine, a true statement, which of course, does not make the latter a hoax! We must be wary of these bombastic pronouncements by the uninformed. In September of 1962 there was no “shelf-ready” technology to go to the Moon; alas, there are some who still believe today that the Moon landing was also a hoax.