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Author Topic: How do you slow down an ion-drive-powered craft?  (Read 8893 times)

Offline LeeE

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How do you slow down an ion-drive-powered craft?
« Reply #25 on: 21/03/2009 19:05:02 »
A huge fishing net out at the front, perhaps? It would have to be very big and very strong to prevent debris punching holes through it. In deep space we would only get 1 proton per m cubed.

This is exactly how the Bussard ramjet is designed to work, except that the scoop is purely magnetic and may be several thousand km across.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bussard_ramjet
 

lyner

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How do you slow down an ion-drive-powered craft?
« Reply #26 on: 22/03/2009 20:10:34 »
It would appear that the limitation is available Energy at least as much as available Mass of propellant.

I tried to make sense of the idea in the link  which involved pre-seeding the path of the craft with material to use as propellant. If you had to get the mass there, 'artificially' that would take as much energy as  taking it with you  - not to mention the wastage through spreading of the beam of material.
 

Offline LeeE

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How do you slow down an ion-drive-powered craft?
« Reply #27 on: 22/03/2009 21:29:26 »
Yeah, the idea of having to 'seed' the path of the craft with fuel in the manner proposed seems inefficient to me too.
 

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How do you slow down an ion-drive-powered craft?
« Reply #27 on: 22/03/2009 21:29:26 »

 

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