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The VASIMR rocket would not be used to launch rockets from Earth’s surface. It would be used once the rocket gets into space (say, low-Earth orbit) as an upper-stage rocket.

Once the payload is orbiting around Earth, the VASIMR would be used to propel payloads, such as manned spacecraft, for that further boost to send them on their way to Mars, to asteroids, or other places in the large expanse of our Solar System.

With the dramatic change of direction for NASA in the future, as made by President Barack Obama and the White House Administration, the VASIMR engine is getting some raised eyebrows from experts in space exploration.

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