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Ion Beam
Ion Beam (click to enlarge)

Ion Beam
Date: 15 Sep 1959

This small ion rocket is being tested inside a vacuum test facility. The test was being monitored by a small camera lens inside the test chamber.

Ion rockets are an idea that has existed since the 1950s. They were first used operationally by the Soviet Union and later were employed by American commercial spacecraft and NASA space probes. They provide very low thrust, but are extremely efficient.

Credit: NASA

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Last Updated: 22 Apr 2013