The tyrannical Tsiolkovsky rocket equation cannot be avoided. The only way for rockets to accelerate in space is by expelling some of their mass. Most engines do this with combustion, which expels huge amounts of fuel mass at a respectable velocity. This gives great acceleration (and an impressive fireball), but very poor specific impulse. Specific impulse is like gas mileage for rocket engines.

Ion engines, on the other hand, take a different approach.

They shoot out a minuscule amount of fuel mass, but they do it at insane velocities. Around 40 kilometers per second (90,000mph). This results in a force that is about the equivalent of lifting a piece of paper into the air. That's not very impressive, but they make up for it by taking their time with their fuel. Ion engines can "burn" for weeks, so this small force can add up to an extremely impressive delta-V.

This little satellite I made has a delta-V of 14,533 m/s and a burn time of about 72 hours.

Here are the details:

  • Thrust: 0.020 kN (Yep, that's right, just twenty Newtons)
  • Mass: 50 kg
  • Price: $100,000
  • Specific Impulse: 5,000 s
  • Fuel Type: Xenon
  • Electrical Consumption: 245kW
  • Height: 0.25 m
  • Diameter: 0.6 m
  • Max Gimbal Angle: 0 degrees

Given the extremely long burn times, these engines aren't very useful when playing the game at normal speed. This weekend I've been prototyping how to use these engines while playing the game at up to 1,000x fast-forward mode. It makes playing with these engines far more enjoyable.

Edit: Engine thrust, specific impulse, and electrical consumption have been adjusted. Thanks @mjdfx150529 for the analysis and letting us know the engine is violating the laws of physics!


Comments

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  • Profile image
    102 JetFly

    @SpaceWC there will be gyroscope units

    16 days ago
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    it that expensive?

    23 days ago
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    Very nice thrust force

    one month ago
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    I think so. @ThatoneMArtist

    one month ago
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    @AndrewGarrison @HellFireKoder did you know who invented this technology? :)

    one month ago
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    @Caveman999 so in career mode will there be contract missions?

    one month ago
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    @Caveman999 sorry?

    +1 one month ago
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    @Caveman999 Well ok... It would be $100,000 dollars...

    one month ago
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    He means the price of the ion engine. @AstronautPlanes

    one month ago
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    @MAHADI Andrew already posted it, it would be the same prize as SimplePlanes

    one month ago
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    I’m no. 5 and I have 11. @Nooneoone

    one month ago
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    In 2 weeks. @TrustMeImanEngineer380380

    one month ago
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    Career mode you will need to buy parts. Sandbox mode is free. @MAHADI

    one month ago
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    154 MAHADI

    Cool! But what is the price tag for?

    2 months ago
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    360 MyMessage

    Yeah @Nooneoone

    2 months ago
  • Profile image

    @MyMessage yeees i remember that game. Sad to see it fall into the past

    +1 2 months ago
  • Profile image
    360 MyMessage

    @Nooneoone and simple phisics

    2 months ago
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    Also is no one gonna point out the Command Chip?

    2 months ago
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    @mjdfx150529 ohhhhh.

    2 months ago
  • Profile image

    Its time for another blog post Andrew....

    +1 2 months ago
  • Profile image

    @Nooneoone that is the point system, not followers

    2 months ago
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    I just scrolled through the list of people and noticed almost everyone has over 100 followers. How does that happen?

    2 months ago
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    @MyMessage yeee

    2 months ago
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    360 MyMessage

    Oh, ok. I have SR1 too, :P #OG @Nooneoone

    2 months ago
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    @MyMessage so sorry i mean sr1 (simplerockets) And OG has many meanings but in this case the one that makes sense is: Original gamer

    2 months ago
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