Jan 13, 2020

Tiny Electric Thrusters from Phase Four, Accion Could Go Interplanetary

Posted by in category: space travel

Circa 2019

Electric thrusters for spacecraft are increasingly shrinking, and could prove key for new space missions. And, according to two novel space tech companies, Phase Four and Accion Systems, they might even go interplanetary.

Conventional rockets that rely on chemical reactions “are a great way to generate a lot of thrust, but they are very inefficient when it comes to generating thrust given the amount of propellant they carry,” Simon Halpern, founder and CEO of space propulsion company Phase Four in El Segundo, California, told “That’s why launching even a small satellite requires a gigantic multistory rocket.”

Scientists have explored a variety of alternatives to chemical rockets over the years. One is electric propulsion, which generates thrust by using electricity to accelerate electrically charged propellants away from a spacecraft. [Wild Ideas for Superfast Space Propulsion].

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