Air-breathing electric propulsion

Air-breathing electric propulsion


05/03/2018 11:19 am


ESA–A. Di Giacomo


Molecules of air at the top of the atmosphere are captured by a novel type of intake, then collected and compressed to the point of becoming thermalised ionised plasma, at which point they can be given an electric charge to accelerate them and eject them to provide thrust. Air-breathing electric propulsion could make a new class of long-lived, low-orbiting missions feasible. 

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