The electric propulsion system, as the name suggests, harnesses electrical energy to propel rockets.
It is an alternative to the nuclear propulsion system (as explained earlier, using fusion process). Although its total thrust is lower than that of the nuclear rocket, the electrical engine can provide sufficient thrust to propel a spacecraft during planetary mission such as the manned exploration of mars.
Also, the products of nuclear reaction are radioactive. So, researches have moved to electric propulsion technique.
There are three ways of harnessing electrical energy in order to generate thrust to propel rockets. They are:
Let us now take these topics one by one and understand their principle, working and have a look at their advantages and disadvantages.