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From: "Paul F. Dietz" <>
Subject: Re: Ion Drive...
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 09:36:01 -0600 wrote:

>   I remember hearing that Xenon is horrendously expensive, to the point
> that it was a non-trivial portion of the cost of DS1, and would also be
> a large portion of the cost of a manned Mars mission.
>   Can someone with actual knowledge confirm or deny?

The xenon supply is limited, to the extent that if demand were
higher, it would make sense to extract it from spent fission
reactor fuel (something like 6% of the mass of fissioned
uranium ends up as xenon.)

I wonder if the Xe concentration is higher in the atmosphere
of Mars, or maybe on some of the outer planets' moons.


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