NASA has been involved in the cold fusion/LENR story since 1989. The purpose of this page is to document NASA’s involvement, at least in part, over the years, starting in the year of Pons and Fleishmann and continuing to the present. I have come across no reports of NASA being involved in LENR research between 1989 and 2003 but of course that does not mean that there was no ongoing research within that organization during that time. Few know that NASA is currently involved in this research, much less that they had done LENR research in 1989. Knowledge of NASA’s interest in this technology has surfaced just over the last couple of years, and the last year specifically.
The information that has become public has been in a piecemeal fashion, and this is post is an attempt to bring some of the information together in one place. As this post is replaced on the front page of this site over the coming weeks by new articles, I will continue to provide it as a reference and a link will be placed in the menu bar at the top of the page. I will add information to this page as it becomes available.
“Tests conducted at NASA Glenn Research Center in 1989 and elsewhere consistently showed evidence of anomalous heat during loading and unloading deuterium into bulk palladium. At one time called “cold fusion,” now called “low-energy nuclear reactions” (LENR), such effects are now published in peer-reviewed journals and are gaining attention and mainstream respectability.”
NASA Glenn Research Center Website – link (at the bottom of page)
As the above quote indicates, NASA conducted limited LENR research at Glenn Research Center in 1989 following the announcement of Dr. Martin Fleishmann and Dr. Stanley Pons. According to the report, anomalous heat was observed but no discernible discernible neutrons were detected above background levels. The experiment apparently was conducted to look for neutrons as evidence of fusion, and the anomalous heat was a secondary finding.
The issue of whether “cold fusion” is actually fusion has long been at the center of the debate over this technology and the fact that cold fusion experiments produce either no discernible or miniscule amounts of the byproducts, which theoretical physicists predict must be present in fusion, has been widely used as evidence that the cold fusion is a hoax. This is often done at the expense of ignoring reports of the anomalous heat reported from the experiments. Two decades of research has not resolved the “is it fusion or not” question but the experimental evidence now has repeatedly verified heat production in “cold fusion” cells, which is now either approaching commercially viable levels or already has reached that point.
Of note, the author of the 1989 report regarding NASA’s cold fusion research, found here, Gustav Fralick, also gave a presentation at the 2009 LENR workshop at NASA Glenn Research Center referenced below. Apparently Mr. Fralick and NASA are now convinced there is something to the anomalous heat production, first observed over 20 years ago and in fact it may be of significance.
Reference to NASA involvement in LENR research beginning in 2003 is referenced in the links below.
A NASA document from 2003 entitled, “Advanced Energetics for Aeronautical Applications” contains a discussion on LENR (see pages 44-51). Here is an except that acknowledges a nuclear process is in play and offers an explanation for low level of gamma rays and neutrons associated with cold fusion experiments.
“The first-discovered form of solid-state fusion was that achieved by electrochemically splitting heavy water in order to cause the deuterium to absorb into pieces of palladium metal. When this experiment is conducted according to procedures that have resulted from the work of many researchers since 1989, it is reproducible. The evidence that a nuclear process is occurring is that excess energy in the form of heat (greater than what could be produced by any possible chemical reaction in the system) and helium 4 (He4) (in quantities exceeding any possible contamination) occur. The primary nuclear reaction is:
1D2 + 1D2 → 2He4 + heat
Unlike plasma-phase fusion reactions, the very low production of neutrons and gamma rays (for the amount of excess energy produced) is very noteworthy. Even though the heat originates in palladium metal, the process produces warm liquid electrolyte at temperatures significantly less than the normal boiling point of water. Because the fraction of heat that can be converted into electrical or mechanical energy at this relatively low temperature is small, aircraft propulsion using such an aqueous-phase system is probably not practical. (Pressurization, to achieve a “steam” cycle with the associated steam condenser, would be heavy).”
Below is a blog entry by Dr. Joseph Zawodny from January of 2009 untitled “Capture the moment”:
“I’ve been working on a special project at work. I can’t talk about the subject just yet, but hopefully soon. Let’s just say that it has the potential to change everything for just about everyone on the planet. I had the opportunity to present my work to management and it went exceptionally well. I have complete support for the next phase of the project. The events of the day are still soaking in and I wanted to capture the moment – here. This is really great news for everyone. Wish me well and I’ll do my best for you” link
Dr. Joseph Zawodny made a presentation at NASA in August of 2009 entitled “Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, An Energetics Revolution for ALL of NASA’s Missions And A Solution to Climate Change and the Economic Meltdown.” link
In March of 2011, Dr. Zawodny filed a patent application entitled “Method for Producing Heavy Electrons.” The application is here. NASA was listed as the assignee for this patent.
One month later, in April of 2011, NASA chief scientist Dennis Bushnell gave an interview to EV World that touched on a number of issues related to LENR, including NASA’s active involvement in LENR research. The interview also covered issues such as Mr. Bushnell’s scientific credentials, which include his role as a consultant to the U.S. “intelligence apparatus.” Aside from a discussion of LENR, the interview also touched on other promising and emerging, clean, renewable energy technologies, of which LENR was deemed the most promising. The audio interview can be downloaded here as an MP3. A transcript of the interview as it relates to LENR can be found here. The LENR discussion is from 4:37 to 5:25 and from 7:30 to 13:50. The discussion includes confirmation of replications of the work of Pons and Fleishmann, the work of Andrea Rossi and Sergio Focardi (mentioning that prior to working with Rossi, Focardi had been doing some of the best work worldwide), Widom-Larsen Theory, LENR’s relation to quantum mechanics, use of quantum theory to optimize surface morphology and NASA’s renewed interest in this field beginning in 2006-2007.
The most notable quote from the interview by Bushnell begins at the 11:34 mark when Bushnell states:
“I think were almost over the “we don’t understand it” problem. I think we’re almost over the “this doesn’t produce anything useful” problem. So I think this will go forward fairly rapidly now and, if it does, this is capable of, by itself, completely changing geo-economics, geo-politics and solving climate and energy.”
On September 22, 2011 NASA held an LENR workshop at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. A number of NASA personnel gave presentations in reference to this technology. Below are links to the slide show shows that accompanied these presentations, which were only released to the general public as a result of the Freedom of Information Act requests filed to release them. The information provided below gives an outline of the information presented but, unfortunately, they do lack the lectures that accompanied them. Still, they provide an excellent source of information regarding both LENR and NASA’s interest in the technology.
Dennis M. Bushnell, chief scientist PDF slide show You Tube
Dr. Joseph Zawodny, senior scientist PDF slide show You Tube
(from a previously posted article, in the middle of the page)
Michael A. Nelson PDF slide show You Tube
Gustave C. Fralick, John D. Wrbanek, Susan Y. Wrbanek, Janis Niedra (ASRC) PDF slide show You Tube
The video’s original source on a NASA web site is here.
Here is a blog entry made by Dr. Zawodny the day following the release of the video in which he attempts to minimize NASA’s interest and involvement in LENR.
Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions, the Realism and the Outlook
By Dennis Bushnell – 05/24/2012
Video with Dr. Joseph Zawdony – 05/24/2012
Note: This article has been updated to reflect additional information that has come to light since it was originally posted.
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