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How It Works The Magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thruster (MPDT) is a form of electrical propulsion that utilizes electromagnetic fields to accelerate a propellant to very high speeds, relying on the Lorentz force. Among the various methods of electromagnetic propulsion, this one produces exceptional thrust, though that arguably means less than it sounds… Why Use It? It is a very efficient engine, with a specific impulse of 11213 secs using hydrogen as a propellant—almost 3x more efficient than the Ion thruster provided by the stock game. In both KSP-Interstellar and real-life, many different propellants can be used by MPD thrusters, including Lithium (in-game it’s efficiency is about ½ of Hydrogen, but twice the thrust, and in real life is…show more content…
Their low thrust makes the rocket completely ineffective for intra-planetary system movements, and possibly even for moving between Kerbin and Duna at opposition, even. However, they would be very helpful for reaching Dres, Jool and beyond, as there would be ample time to speed up and slow down. If there is one thing they will never, ever, ever be used for, it’ll be warships; in no purpose-built way could a vessel that literally accelerates at hundredths of a G could evade oncoming vessels. When it comes to size, the engine would be better used on relatively small vessels, especially considering the stresses involved in huge MPDTs. In Testing Although fuels like Lithium generate more thrust with the MPDT, it would be more ideal to use Hydrogen since the thrust is already quite low, and the ship gets better efficiency at the cost of a huge tank, but for civilian purposes there shouldn’t be too much of a problem with that. The test vehicle is carrying 421 metric tons of water. TUG VESSEL LEAVING KERBIN Therefore, the craft I tested the MPDT with is powered by liquid hydrogen. However, I realized that the MPDT’s thrust was simply too low to leave Kerbin orbit in one burn, so I decided that a space tug would be ideal. Considering the tech “era”, the two engines are best used for this space tug are the NTR or the closed cycled gas core engines. For this example I used the Closed Cycle Gas Core, which is more
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