Fusion Candle
Gas Giant -Fusion Thrusters
Image from Alex Mulvey
A gaseous world propelled with a fusion candle array.
Gas giants, Neptunian worlds, superterrestrials and other worlds with thick atmospheres can use fusion candle technology to produce thrust, heat and illumination. Fusion candles are massive fusion-powered thrusters which can be fixed to the world's surface (if present) or suspended in its atmosphere.

Fusion candles suck in atmospheric material, extract any fuse-able elements for use as fuel (often deuterium or helium3, although other gases can be used especially where conversion drive systems are available), and use the rest as propellant to apply a direct force on the planet. If the candle is suspended in the planet's atmosphere, additional thrust will be directed downward in order to suspend the mass of the thruster.

The use of a fusion candle is an extremely violent process, and will cause turbulence and heating in a world's atmosphere (and on the surface if there is one). Fusion candles are most commonly utilized in the atmosphere of unpopulated worlds, where these factors are not of concern. An additional benefit of moving a planet is that the local system will typically come along for the ride. A gas giant propelled using a fusion candle system will bring its moons and anything else in orbit with it.

Fusion Candles
Image from Steve Bowers
Fusion candles in a gas giant atmosphere thrust downwards as well as upwards, thus maintaining a constant altitude while exerting thrust onto the planet
Fusion candles can also provide heating and illumination to a dark world, or illuminate the moons and habitats in orbit around a world far from any star.

Fusion Candles
Image from Steve Bowers
These fusion candles cover the entire planet so provide no net thrust, but instead support fusion-powered illuminators which provide light and heat to the local system of moons and habitats
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Development Notes
Text by Alex Mulvey
Initially published on 24 February 2021.