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1

The absolutely most basic idea? Maybe, but a VASIMR engine capable of planetary takeoff or landing is not a VASIMR engine. VASIMR engines are a type of thermal rocket -- they work by heating gas and expanding it out of a nozzle (much like chemical and nuclear thermal engines, but NOT like gridded ion thrusters). Diffuse gas is ionized into plasma and ...


2

The commercial CF6-80C2 engine has a mass of about 5T and a thrust of about 300kN, including intake and nozzle thrust at takeoff. As heavy commercial engines go, it’s about the best for this application. That thrust can provide 1g upward acceleration to about 15T total mass. Subtracting its mass and allowing a bit for fuel (at full thrust it burns 3kg a ...


14

The VASMIR 200 is listed as having a thrust of 5.4 newtons, and you need 9.8 newtons to lift 1kg against earth's gravity. So 700 tonnes is going to need more than a million engines and be consuming more than 254 GW of electricity. So even if the engines are weightless this is not lifting off from earth without co-opting the power generation of a sizable ...


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