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This is the first part of a two part paper in which we explore the effect of cathode position and magnetic field configuration on Hall-effect thruster (HET) performance. In this part, the effect of the cathode position on the efficiency of the thruster is explored. The study consists of two experiments in which we compare the efficiency of an HET in such a way as to change the external magnetic field topology with respect to the cathode position to its original configuration. We show thedoi:10.2514/1.50123 fatcat:zzkgigmdtrdklbp3ph5a5nnadq