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Robert W. Bussard

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Robert W. Bussard, physicist. Worked on fusion energy research and conceived the idea of the Bussard ramjet, an interstellar space drive powered by hydrogen fusion using hydrogen collected from space using an electromagnetic ramscoop. With fellow researcher Bruno Coppi, Bussard later founded Inesco, a private firm funded in part by Penthouse Magazine publisher Bob Guccione. Inesco set out to build small power-producing Tokamak fusion reactors called Riggatrons using methods developed from the MIT Alcator research tokamaks. Inesco eventually shut down when its funds ran out. Its exact fate, and how far it got along in its technical development, is somewhat obscure.