Lockheed Martin is developing a compact fusion reactor (CFR). First announced last year, Lockheed Martin recently reaffirmed that they believe small and scalable fusion systems are both possible and can be practical enough to power interplanetary space travel, commercial shipping vessels, and electrical generating stations for entire cities. They're aiming to have a prototype in five years and a production unit in ten. Fusion, the nuclear process by which the sun operates, is an attractive scientific concept to master. The technology has been "10 years away" since the 50's, though followers have reason to believe this endeavor might be different. Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works has a legendary history of advanced innovation - the [lightbox title="Title" href="http://www.icosa.co/magazine/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/88a28a8877aa538242258691346c017f.jpg"]SR-71 Blackbird[/lightbox] spy-plane instantly comes to mind.
Thomas McGuire, an aeronautical engineer in the Skunk Work’s Revolutionary Technology Programs unit, describes Lockheed Martin's approach:
Aviation Week was given exclusive access to the latest experiment. Read Guy Norris' piece for further information.