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

  • Log in to leave a comment
  • Profile image

    @Caveman999 Well ok... It would be $100,000 dollars...

    4 hours ago
  • Profile image

    He means the price of the ion engine. @AstronautPlanes

    16 hours ago
  • Profile image

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

    17 hours ago
  • Profile image

    I’m no. 5 and I have 11. @Nooneoone

    18 hours ago
  • Profile image

    In 2 weeks. @TrustMeImanEngineer380380

    18 hours ago
  • Profile image

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

    18 hours ago
  • Profile image
    120 MAHADI

    Cool! But what is the price tag for?

    2 days ago
  • Profile image
    206 MyMessage

    Yeah @Nooneoone

    2 days ago
  • Profile image

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

    +1 2 days ago
  • Profile image
    206 MyMessage

    @Nooneoone and simple phisics

    3 days ago
  • Profile image

    Also is no one gonna point out the Command Chip?

    3 days ago
  • Profile image

    @mjdfx150529 ohhhhh.

    3 days ago
  • Profile image

    Its time for another blog post Andrew....

    +1 3 days ago
  • Profile image

    @Nooneoone that is the point system, not followers

    3 days ago
  • Profile image

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

    3 days ago
  • Profile image

    @MyMessage yeee

    3 days ago
  • Profile image
    206 MyMessage

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

    3 days ago
  • Profile image

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

    3 days ago
  • Profile image
    206 MyMessage

    What’s sp1? And what does #OG mean? @Nooneoone

    3 days ago
  • Profile image

    Any ideas on what the next post is about?

    3 days ago
  • Profile image

    @Ghaines03 probably realistic from what it seems. Especially since it scales from how big the part is.

    4 days ago
  • Profile image

    @MyMessage Im from sp1 :) #OG

    4 days ago
  • Profile image
    206 MyMessage

    @Venus same

    4 days ago
  • Profile image
    206 MyMessage

    @3021009260 im not sure, but simple rockets wasn't a big hit and sp and sr2 were, so that may be why they made sites for them.

    4 days ago
  • Profile image

    I want to know why there is no official website of simplerockets, but there are official websites of simplerockets2 and simpleplane.@MyMessags

    4 days ago
  • Log in to see more comments