Economical unmanned earth orbit transportation for large payloads is evaluated. The high exhaust velocity achievable with electric propulsion is attractive because it minimizes the propellant that must be carried to low earth orbit. Propellant transport is a principal cost item. Electric propulsion subsystems utilizing advanced ion thrusters are compared to magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thrust subsystems. For very large payloads, a large lift vehicle is needed to low earth orbit, and argon propellant is required for electric propulsion. Under these circumstances, the MPD thruster is shown to be desirable over the ion thruster for earth orbit transportation.