[amsat-bb] Re: spaceflight(launch) question

Alexandru Csete alexc at phys.au.dk
Sat Nov 1 02:54:05 PDT 2008

Existing ion thrusters require many kW power to generate a few hundred mN thrust, so it
would need very large solar panels :-(


Quoting "Auke de Jong, VE6PWN" <sparkycivic at shaw.ca>:
> I was wondering... An question just occured to me that I couldn't answer: If a small
> satellite were hand-launched from the space station, and it contained an ion-drive
> motor powered by electricity, would it ever be able to accelerate in order to gain a
> higher orbit, or would that require an impracically large power supply/engine?  In
> other words, could that method be used to achieve higher orbits with communication/ham
> class satellites without having to use the typical large rocket we've been using all
> this time?  Also, would there be a cost-advantage to this method?
> Auke de Jong
> DO33go
> Edmonton, AB

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