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could we raise orbit etc.

This is so on topic that it deserves to grow a life.

Since both the earth and the sun have magnetic fields it may be 
possible, at various times depending on the relative positions of the 
spacecraft, earth and sun to change the spacecraft velocity by using 
magnetic systems.
  This is an interesting subject that is sure to have been discussed 
before, but an internet search didn't come up with much at all.
  Some one on the list will probably be able to point to some research 
on the subject.
  For sure it would be a slow,computation intensive endeavor but I 
cannot see why it, theoretically at least, cannot be done.

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