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With current technology: 4.3AU. From wikipedia, it appears that the most powerful flight-proven RTG had a power density of 5.4W/kg. From NASA, current (as of 2017) solar technology has a power density of 100W/kg. The power output of a solar cell drops off with the square of the distance from the sun. So, let's assume we have 1KW at 1AU. The mass of this ...


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The first flown Ion Engine from the United States was the Deep Space One testbed mission, which was one of the Better-Faster-Cheaper missions of the late 1990s. However, the technology was around for quite a bit longer than that. The basic design, the Hall Effect thruster, was studied by both the US and the USSR in the 1960s, and the first public mention ...


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