Plasma thruster: New space debris removal technology

The Earth is currently surrounded by debris launched into space over several decades. This space junk can collide with satellites, causing damage and creating more debris. To preserve a secure space environment, the active ...

World-first firing of air-breathing electric thruster

In a world first, an ESA-led team has built and fired an electric thruster to ingest scarce air molecules from the top of the atmosphere for propellant, opening the way to satellites flying in very low orbits for years on ...

ESA's next satellite propelled by butane

ESA's next miniature satellite will be its first able to change orbit. Thanks to a compact thruster resembling a butane cigarette lighter, the cereal box-sized satellite will fly around its near-twin to test their radio communications.

NASA tests thruster bound for metal world

As NASA looks to explore deeper into our solar system, one of the key areas of interest is studying worlds that can help researchers better understand our solar system and the universe around us. One of the next destinations ...

New thruster design increases efficiency for future spaceflight

Hall thrusters (HTs) are used in earth-orbiting satellites, and also show promise to propel robotic spacecraft long distances, such as from Earth to Mars. The propellant in a HT, usually xenon, is accelerated by an electric ...

NASA tests thrusters on journey to asteroid Bennu

NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft fired its Trajectory Correction Maneuver (TCM) thrusters for the first time Friday in order to slightly adjust its trajectory on the outbound journey from Earth to the asteroid Bennu. The spacecraft's ...

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