Ion thrusters require a lot of energy, because of their high exhaust velocities. But why can they just pump a mixture off hydrogen and xenon into the chamber and mix it oxygen and burn it up. Doesn't this ionize the gas and also provide enough thermal heat to push the plasma through the grids?
- Maybe not hydrogen and oxygen but any exothermic reactions could be utilized. Not to completely avoid electricity input but partially. Reducing the size of the solar panels maybe. I am talking about deep space missions.
-This would also be much more efficient than energy production through turbines, wouldn't it?
-Then why aren't they doing it? Is there any drawback of using exothermic reactions?