Related topics: nasa

Enabling longer space missions

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing has reignited interest in space travel. However, almost any mission beyond the moon, whether manned or unmanned, will require the spacecraft to remain fully operational for ...

BepiColombo now firing on all cylinders

BepiColombo, the joint ESA/JAXA spacecraft on a mission to Mercury, is now firing its thrusters for the first time in flight.

Electric blue thrusters propelling BepiColombo to Mercury

In mid-December, twin discs will begin glowing blue on the underside of a minibus-sized spacecraft in deep space. At that moment Europe and Japan's BepiColombo mission will have just come a crucial step closer to Mercury.

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 ...

Image: CubeSat micro-pulsed plasma thruster

This micro-pulsed plasma thruster has been designed for propulsion of miniature CubeSats; its first firing is seen here. The thruster works by pulsing a lightning-like electric arc between two electrodes. This vaporizes ...

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