8. While the plasma in the VASIMR® engine gets to be close to the temperature of the sun's surface, how is the engine effectively cooled so its hardware does not melt?
Although the plasma is very hot, the magnetic field does a good job in containing the plasma and preventing heat exchange with the materials of the rocket core. Heat will still be introduced into the system (from plasma interaction, UV, joule heating, etc.) that needs to be carried away. This heat removal process is part of the thermal engineering solution for the VASIMR® engine which is refined as the system becomes more optimized.