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British Dictionary definitions for ion engine

ion engine

noun
  1. a type of rocket engine in which thrust is obtained by the electrostatic acceleration of charged positive ionsCompare plasma engine
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

ion engine in Science

ion engine

  1. A rocket engine that develops thrust by expelling ions fired by an electron gun, used in some spacecraft. Though ion engines create less thrust than chemical combustion engines, they are considerably more efficient and require very little propellant, resulting in much lighter weight and less need for high thrust. See also solar-electric propulsion.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.