Now that we’ve examined rocket theory, potential, and limitations, we are ready to consider some of the alternatives to this mode of propulsion. If our spacecraft is ground-launched, we might consider a jet as the first stage, where oxygen is ingested from the air instead of carried on board. Other launch alternatives include igniting the rocket while it is suspended from a high-altitude balloon or accelerating it upon a magnetically levitated track prior to ignition.
KeywordsSolar Wind International Space Station Plasma Propulsion Solar Sail Tethered Satellite
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