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Paper Topic:

Ion Engines in Spacecraft

Running Head : ION ENGINES

Ion Engines






When discussing the efficiency of propulsion systems , designers often focus on effectively using reaction mass , material expelled by rockets to provide thrust . Designers constantly research the best means of propulsion both commercially and academically in the quest for interplanetary missions and orbit raising maneuvers . Ion engines provide a means of creating very high exhaust velocities using vastly less amounts of reaction mass needed to carry onboard . These engines do however , provide minimal thrust . Manned flights

over short distances like to the moon , would not benefit . But the incredible efficiency of ion engines provides an excellent platform for long missions over great distances . Ion engines are the best solution for these missions several spacecraft have operated successfully using this technology

Ion Engines

The law of conservation of momentum and Isaac Newton 's well-known third law state that the mass of a spacecraft 's exhaust multiplied by the velocity of the spacecraft 's exhaust must be equal to the mass of the spacecraft multiplied by the velocity of the spacecraft . Simply put the force required to push the exhaust out the back of the spacecraft is the same force that pushes the spacecraft forward (Cassidy , Holton Holton Rutherford , 2002

This particular equation applies to each and every rocket engine that has explored the space above us . For this reason , this seeks to expand on other technologies currently available to provide the most efficient way of exploring the universe


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