Ion engine enters space race


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John McCallum
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Message 741327 - Posted: 19 Apr 2008, 11:50:00 UTC

Ion engine

The test chamber is one of the biggest in Europe

1. The 1,100kg Goce is built from rigid materials and carries fixed solar wings. The gravity data must be clear of spacecraft 'noise'
2. Solar cells produce 1,300W and cover the Sun-facing side of Goce; the near side (as shown) radiates heat to keep it cool
3. The 5m-by-1m frame incorporates fins to stabilise the spacecraft as it flies through the residual air in the thermosphere
4. Goce's accelerometers measure accelerations that are as small as 1 part in 10,000,000,000,000 of the gravity experienced on Earth
5. The UK-built engine ejects xenon ions at velocities exceeding 40,000m/s; Goce's mission will end when the 40kg fuel tank empties
6. S Band antenna: Data downloads to the Kiruna (Sweden) ground station. Processing, archiving is done at Esa's centre in Frascati, Italy
7. GPS antennas: Precise positioning of Goce is required, but GPS data in itself can also provide some gravity field information

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Profile Norman Copeland
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Message 741372 - Posted: 19 Apr 2008, 13:04:34 UTC
Last modified: 19 Apr 2008, 13:06:43 UTC

''This laboratory in a leafy part of Hampshire is where defence and security firm Qinetiq develops and tests its ion engines - a technology that will take spacecraft to the planets, powered by the Sun''.

''Ion engines are an "electric propulsion system". They make use of the fact that a current flowing across a magnetic field creates an electric field directed sideways to the current''.


[[[Which is the reason they won't be capable of particular planetary orbits]]]

''This is used to accelerate a beam of ions (charged atoms) of xenon away from the spacecraft, thereby providing thrust''.

[[[The same technique could be used for opening dimensions. The technique is known as dimension shift. Dimension shift is more advanced than using worm hole travel though mapping dimension's is an easier prospect than mapping the universes at this particular opportunity]]]

''"These are the xenon pumps and these are cooled down by the helium compressors to approximately 20 degrees Kelvin," he explains''.

''"So any gas atoms that strike those panels, they freeze. After you've been running the engines for a number of hours you can see a frost - it looks like snow - which is actually frozen air and xenon."''

''During testing, the engine fires ions towards the opposite end of the chamber, which has a protective coating of graphite''.

''"The ions are travelling very fast, at approximately 50km a second," he says''.

[[[That's reletive to the environment]]]

''"When they strike the other end of the chamber, they actually knock atoms off the surfaces they strike; it's analogous to sand-blasting on an atomic level."''

[[[Similiar to dimension shift theory]]]

Cruise control

The ion engine developed by Qinetiq, the T5, will be flown for the first time on the European Space Agency's Goce spacecraft. The mission will fly just 200-300km above the Earth, mapping the tiny variations in its gravity field.

[[[Could be good for space probing]]]


''Various types of ion engine have been used before on only a handful of space missions, including Smart-1, the European mission to the Moon, and Nasa's Deep Space 1, which flew by a comet''.


''Future Esa missions such as BepiColombo, bound for the innermost planet, Mercury, will also use the technology''.

[[[The engine and space vessle will not be sufficient for travel among this galaxy dimension {modern human standard knowledge of} because of unquantified particle regions]]]

Neil Wallace says the nature of the space business makes watching any launch a dramatic event.

[[[The launch region may lessen anxiety]]].

"You spend 10 years working on a mission, treating the components and equipment like a newborn baby. You never take it out of the clean room, and then you put in on the top of 100 tonnes of high explosive and set light to it," he says, laughing nervously.

[[[That will soon be myth. Safer techniques of launch soon developed will produce space craft capable of galactic travel after 18 months of work]]].

"But no, the most exciting time for us will be when that spacecraft comes over the horizon and the ground station picks it up, and you can see the engines are doing what we've always said they will do."

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Message 741533 - Posted: 19 Apr 2008, 20:05:27 UTC - in response to Message 741372.

[[[Which is the reason they won't be capable of particular planetary orbits]]]


Orbits are the result of gravity; the propulsion system used to enter those orbits is irrelevant.


[[[The same technique could be used for opening dimensions. The technique is known as dimension shift. Dimension shift is more advanced than using worm hole travel though mapping dimension's is an easier prospect than mapping the universes at this particular opportunity]]]


Uhhh...where did you hear that?

[[[The engine and space vessle will not be sufficient for travel among this galaxy dimension {modern human standard knowledge of} because of unquantified particle regions]]]


What do you mean "this galaxy dimension"? I've never heard that phrase before...


[[[That will soon be myth. Safer techniques of launch soon developed will produce space craft capable of galactic travel after 18 months of work]]].


Exactly what technology are you referring to and how did you arrive at such an exact estimate of 18 months?

Profile Sir Ulli
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Message 741544 - Posted: 19 Apr 2008, 20:26:09 UTC

nothing new

Hit me

http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/25/25453/1.html

Greetings from Germany NRW
Ulli


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Message 743209 - Posted: 23 Apr 2008, 19:14:25 UTC

Sorry but theres not much of a race for a ion engine. NASA developed one back in the early fifties and decided to scrap the idea because it would take to much time and energy to gather enough forward momentum do be of any use for a manned mission, but they have used the same type of ion engines for several of their long trajectory probe missions/ the ones being refered to are the ones leaving our solar system and the reason they are feasable for this use is the sling shot effect around the planets which help gain speed
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