9. What is the estimated mass of the VASIMR® spacecraft?
The spacecraft mass depends on many factors, derived by the mission needs and available technology: power, specific mass, payload, tank-to-propellant fraction etc. In our recent paper we describe mass for a VASIMR® thruster for the power levels from 50 kW to 250 kW. The mass of the spacecraft was studied for a human mission to Mars in 2035 assuming power = 30 MW (NEP), specific mass = 2 kg/kW, payload = 62 t, tank-to-propellant fraction = 0.1. Initial mass at LEO is 356 t, including 214 t of propellant and 144 t of dry mass.