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Ionospheric Propulsion

Ionospheric Propulsion
 
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The ionosphere, which begins at an altitude of about 100 kilometers (63 miles) is caused by the interaction of the solar wind with the earth's magnetic field. The region, which extends far behind the earth as it moves in its orbit about the sun, is a high energy plasma which forms into currents and eddys that could be used by a space craft for propulsion. With the recent commercial interest in hyperverlocity re-entry vehicles or "space planes", using Ionospheric Propulsion could pave the way to an energy rich space age.
qg, Jul 19 2004

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       How exactly would it be used? Burn it to generate steam? Hoist a mainsail? Make it man the space oars? Some detail, please!   

       Also, if the ionosphere is the same as the Van Allen Belt, the subtitle should be Van Allen Van.   

       Ok, maybe not. But, still, some detail please.
bungston, Jul 19 2004
  
      
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