Rocketry Terms

Thrust: the force that a rocket engine of this type could provide on a Mars mission, measured in newtons (equal to about a quarter of a pound of force).

Exhaust speed: a measure of fuel efficiency.

Sample burn time: how long the rocket must fire to accelerate a 25-ton payload from low Earth orbit to escape ve-locity.The time is inversely related to the thrust.

Sample fuel ratio: fraction of the total spacecraft mass taken up by propellant (in the above scenario).The amount of fuel is exponentially related to the exhaust speed.

Thrust: 9 newtons per square kilometer (at Earth's distance from sun) Exhaust speed: not applicable Sample burn time: 58 days

WHICH ROUTE TO TAKE?

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