plasma rocket


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plasma rocket

[′plaz·mə ‚räk·ət]
(aerospace engineering)
A rocket that is accelerated by means of a plasma engine.

plasma engine

An engine whose working fluid is plasma. Plasma is electrically charged gas made up of atoms stripped of electrons. The ions are accelerated and directed by external electric fields to produce thrust. Unlike in most rocket engines, the amount of thrust can be controlled. Such an engine has application in space travel. Also called plasma rocket.
References in periodicals archive ?
The new plasma rocket engines with iron drives are the sorts of things we saw described in Star Trek.
For example, a variable-exhaust plasma rocket could provide operational flexibility in positioning of satellites in earth orbit.
Cheng's most recent application, declassified late last year, involves the design of a new plasma rocket thruster with greatly improved performance for the Dept.