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ion engine

a type of rocket engine in which thrust is obtained by the electrostatic acceleration of charged positive ions Compare plasma engine
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Examples from the Web for ion engine
Historical Examples
  • This thing called an ion engine, which creates a force field to move satellites, seems like a lot of equipment.

    Solomon's Orbit William Carroll
ion engine in Science
ion engine  
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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