Ion engines use ionized gas (plasma) for propulsion, providing continuous low thrust. This technology has been used in missions like NASA's Dawn spacecraft.
Nuclear engines heat propellant using a nuclear reactor, offering higher thrust and efficiency compared to chemical rockets.
These spacecraft rely on sunlight pressure for propulsion. They are lightweight and can achieve impressive speeds over long distances.
Currently theoretical, fusion-powered engines would release energy through nuclear fusion, potentially providing very high thrust and speed.
A project aiming to send small, lightweight spacecraft to other star systems at a significant fraction of the speed of light, using powerful laser propulsion.
Theoretical concepts involve manipulating spacetime to "warp" the fabric of the universe, potentially allowing faster-than-light travel.
Spacecraft can use the gravity of planets and other celestial bodies to increase their speed, as demonstrated in missions like Voyager and New Horizons.
Hypothetically, if harnessed, the energy from antimatter reactions could provide incredibly powerful and efficient propulsion.