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One proposed use for a magnetic sail is to allow an interstellar spacecraft to brake as it approaches its destination. But could a magnetic sail also slow down a spacecraft traveling between planets? To be clear, I'm not talking about braking against planetary magnetospheres (as mentioned in Magnetic / Inductive braking against planetary magnetic fields?), but braking against the interplanetary medium.

If it worked, it could potentially save a lot of fuel, since spacecraft normally need to expend fuel to decelerate as well as to accelerate, leading to better mass ratios.

If this wouldn't be practical with a conventional magnetic sail, then would it be practical with something like the plasma magnet drive instead?

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    $\begingroup$ If there is only a very weak magnetic field in the interplanetary space, magnetic braking will be very weak too. $\endgroup$ – Uwe Jul 26 at 11:20
  • $\begingroup$ I understand that "magsails" have been proposed as a means of solar-wind-driven interplanetary travel. $\endgroup$ – ikrase Jul 26 at 13:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Uwe My question is specifically about braking using the interplanetary medium, not about braking using any magnetic fields (other than that of the magnetic sail itself). $\endgroup$ – Pitto Jul 27 at 0:14
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    $\begingroup$ If you want to ask "about braking using the interplanetary medium", you should not ask "Magnetic braking for...". $\endgroup$ – Uwe Jul 30 at 8:54

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