Propulsion


Propulsion is the mechanism that generates the force necessary for a spacecraft to move through space. In astronautical engineering, propulsion systems are designed to overcome the forces of gravity and inertia that keep a spacecraft in orbit or on a trajectory. There are several types of propulsion systems used in spaceflight, including chemical rockets, electric propulsion, and nuclear propulsion. Chemical rockets are the most common type of propulsion system and work by burning fuel to create a high-velocity exhaust that propels the spacecraft forward. Electric propulsion systems use electric fields or magnetic fields to accelerate charged particles, which generate thrust. Nuclear propulsion systems use the energy released by nuclear reactions to heat a propellant, which is then expelled to generate thrust.


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