I work in a STEM field and for a while I wanted to be an astronaut, so one of the things that has always fascinated me is the different propulsion systems available and being developed. One such system is an ion thruster. A propulsion system with no moving parts, it has a high reliability and incredible efficiency.
Counterbalancing those benefits is a very low actual thrust – I once read, at least as of years ago, that ion thruster force was comparable to a holding an 8 ½ X 11 piece of paper in your hand. But placed on a spacecraft and run continuously, over years it will affect significant changes in that spacecraft’s velocity (speed and/or direction). In fact, this is one of the kinds of propulsion systems proposed to deflect an asteroid from a possible collision path with Earth, if detected far enough out to get one to that rock and let it run for years. Force applied over time…
THE LEFT’S LONG GAME
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