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  • Interplanetary travel between satellite orbits

    Paper ID



    • JR Lyman Spitzer


    British interplanetary society


    United Kingdom




    An analysis is given of the performance to be expected of a rocket powered by nuclear energy, and utilizing an electrically, accelerated ion beam to achieve a gas ejection velocity of 100 km./sec. without the use of very high temperatures in the propellant gases. While such a rocket would have much too low a thrust to take off from the surface of a planet, it would appear to be capable of travelling from a circular orbit about the earth to a circular orbit about any other planet in the solar system. Gases obtained from planetary atmospheres could be used for the propellant, and the only refuelling required from the Earth would be supplies for the crew and small amounts of fissionable material. Preliminary indications are that such a rocket could feasibly be constructed and operated at the present time.