[ExI] A Geophysics problem

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Wed Sep 30 02:30:57 UTC 2015

Sorry to interrupt the high culture fest.

I was explaining the electric propulsion from LEO up to GEO to someone
recently and he asked what happens to the 20-25 km/s exhaust.  I
mentioned that it was well above escape velocity and he pointed out
that it's being expended in the Earth's magnetic field.  That field
traps particles with a lot more energy than this exhaust.  I realized
that I had no idea what would happen to the exhaust.  I have asked
several people, including a PhD from Ad Astra Rockets.  So far
nobody has an answer.

At peak production about 2 million tons of ionized hydrogen gets
expended between LEO and GEO every year.

It's a geophysics problem.  Can you think of anyone I should ask?

Also I might note that it is hard to sell people on climate change, it
is at least that hard to sell a solution that gets humanity off fossil
fuels without crushing the economy.


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