Making satellites safer: the search for new propellants

Developing new propellants for satellites to replace toxic hydrazine would make launching and handling satellites safer but it also requires disrupting current systems, according to researchers.

Image: Vega's titanium propellant tank

This titanium propellant tank, on show in the laboratory corridor of ESA's technical heart, comes from Europe's Vega launcher—one of four serving its AVUM upper stage.

Electric solid propellant: Can it take the heat?

Electric solid propellants are being explored as a safer option for pyrotechnics, mining, and in-space propulsion because they only ignite with an electric current. But because all of these applications require high heat, ...

Ion wind technology breakthrough takes flight

A new spin on propulsion is taking flight in a SUNY Oswego lab, leading to electrical and computer engineering faculty member Adrian Ieta and the SUNY Research Foundation pursuing a patent on this promising technology.

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