Space Programs

Satellites and Spacecraft

How powerful are ion propulsion systems?

Compared to typical chemical combustion rockets, the force generated by an ion propulsion system is weak. Current ion engines on spacecraft generate less thrust at full power than a child pushing a toy truck with her hand. But ion engines are so efficient that they use very little fuel, even at full power. They can, therefore, last for years and continue pushing for days, weeks, or even months at a time.


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