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Prototype plasma rocket housed at NASA's Johnson Space Center. The video is slowed down to 1/2 speed. In general, these types of thrusters (ion thrusters, Hall thrusters, and VASIMR) take advantage of extremely high exhaust velocities and generally have the ability to operate continuously for months. Although the thrust is much lower than a chemical rocket, the ultimate speed and/or payload fraction delivered is generally much higher.
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