Ion Thrusters - How much do they cost?

Main Question or Discussion Point

Ion Thrusters which are used for space vessels, such as sending sattelites into space, how much do they cost?

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Simon Bridge
Homework Helper
Depends on the spacecraft and it's mission.
Never heard of off-the-rack ion drives.
iirc: costs can range from 10's of thousands to milions per unit.

See :
http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/space/bss/factsheets/xips/xips.html [Broken]
http://www.aerojet.com/capabilities/spacecraft.php

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Depends on the spacecraft and it's mission.
Never heard of off-the-rack ion drives.
iirc: costs can range from 10's of thousands to milions per unit.

See :
http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/space/bss/factsheets/xips/xips.html [Broken]
http://www.aerojet.com/capabilities/spacecraft.php
I have a reactor which produces 100KW and weights about 500Kg.
The thrust I'm looking for here is being able to reach speeds of 1000Km/h.
But the vessel however, will start its ion drive at about 100 miles above the earth's surface.
So I'm looking for something bellow 100K USD.

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Simon Bridge
Homework Helper
Well then approach the manufacturers and tell them your requirements - what are you messing with us for??!

Note: the thruster will accelerate your craft for as long as it has power and fuel ... there is no theoretical top speed...

berkeman
Mentor
I have a reactor which produces 100KW and weights about 500Kg.
Please do not post nonsense here on the PF.

Well then approach the manufacturers and tell them your requirements - what are you messing with us for??!

Note: the thruster will accelerate your craft for as long as it has power and fuel ... there is no theoretical top speed...
I must ask. Since the minimum required thrust to escape earth is 9,81N/Kg, and I wanted to accelerate 10m/s^2, I would need a thrust of 19,81N/Kg. If my spaceship weights 300Kg, I would need a thrust of (10+9,81)*300= 5943 Newton. After 4 minutes and 38 seconds I would be traveling at 10'000km/h. So my question is, if you would be in empty space, the thrust required in order to reach the same velocity from 0km/h, would be equivalent to 10m/s^2 + 0m/s^2, because there is nothing dragging you down. Is this correct?

Simon Bridge
Homework Helper
You know we have a sci-fi forum - this thread would probably do better there.

Thrust accelerates you. Without a retarding force, any thrust will get you to any speed eventually. There is no theoretical top speed. You are limited by the reaction mass and energy you carry.

K^2
Ion Thrusters which are used for space vessels, such as sending sattelites into space
Ion thrusters capable of sending satellites into space do not exist. Thrust to weight ratio of modern ion thrusters is very low, making them impossible to use until you have at least established an orbit.

Simon Bridge