Which is a better method of propulsion? Ion engine or ablative laser propulsion?

Discussion in 'Propulsion' started by Maximum7, Dec 2, 2019.

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  1. Dec 2, 2019 #1

    Maximum7

    Maximum7

    Maximum7

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    Ablative laser propulsion seems like a good bet because it works in both atmosphere and a vacuum and just seems better than Ion engines.
     
  2. Dec 3, 2019 #2

    BBowmaster

    BBowmaster

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    Laser is nice but you have two issues:
    #1 - Ablative material runs out just like fuel, but less predictably.
    #2 - The power of your launching laser decreases with the square of the distance so for longer range flights, ion efficiency is better.

    One big plus is that your launching laser stays near home so maintenance, repairs, and even upgrades are possible.
     
  3. Dec 3, 2019 #3

    jlabrasca

    jlabrasca

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    dhbarr likes this.

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