So I was reading about ion propulsion when I read this:
I understand the fact that drag will be too powerful for the ion thruster to overcome. However, why does it matter when there are foreign ions? Does the magnetic field of the grids pull ions from the atmosphere, thus pulling the entire thing backwards?Ion thrust engines are practical only in the vacuum of space and cannot take vehicles through the atmosphere because ion engines do not work in the presence of ions outside the engine. Additionally, the engine's minuscule thrust cannot overcome any significant air resistance. Spacecraft rely on conventional chemical rockets to initially reach orbit.