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Plasma Engineering by Isak Beilis, Michael Keidar

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Chapter 5

Plasma in Space Propulsion

Plasmas are used in variety of aerospace applications including space propulsion, aero flow control, and plasma-assisted combustion. This section considers specifics of plasma application in space propulsion. Space propulsion is required for satellite motion in the outer space. The displacement of a satellite in space, orbit transfer, and its attitude control are the task of space propulsion, which is carried out by rocket engines. Rocket engines operate according to the basic principle of action and reaction. A force (thrust) F on the spacecraft is formed by ejecting a jet of gas or plasma in the backward direction. In principle, there are two major types of rocket engines which are distinguished by the energy ...

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