Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Plasma thruster could propel small satellites into deep space for cheap

Plasma thruster could propel small satellites into deep space for cheap data = {blogUrl: "",v: 400};when = {jquery: lab.scriptBs("jquery"),plugins: lab.scriptBs("plugins"),eng: lab.scriptBs("eng")}; var s265prop9 = ('20648941' !== '') ? 'bsd:20648941' : ''; var postID = '20648941'; var modalMNo = '93319229', modalVideoMNo = '93320648', modalGalleryMNo = '93304207'; when.eng("eng.omni.init", {pfxID:"weg",pageName:document.title,server:"",channel:"us.engadget", s_account: "aolwbengadget,aolsvc", short_url: "",pageType:"",linkInternalFilters:"javascript:,",prop1:"article",prop2:"science",prop9:s265prop9,prop12:document.location,prop17:"",prop18:"",prop19:"",prop20:"", prop22:"mariella-moon", prop54:"blogsmith",mmxgo: true }); adSendTerms('1')adSetMOAT('1');adSetAdURL('/_uac/adpagem.html');lab._script("").wait(function(){var floatingAd = new AdhesiveAd("348-14-15-14d",{hideOnSwipe:true});}); onBreak({980: function () { adSetType("F");htmlAdWH("93319229", "LB", "LB"); adSetType("");}}); EngadgetMenu NewsReviews Features Galleries VideosEventsPodcasts Engadget ShowTopics Buyers Guides Sagas Store Hands On More Betterer HD Mobile Alt Announcements Cameras Cellphones Desktops Displays Gaming GPS Handhelds Home Entertainment Household Internet Laptops Meta Misc Networking Peripherals Podcasts Robots Portable Audio/Video Science Software Storage Tablets Transportation Wearables Wireless Acer Amazon AMD Apple ASUS AT&T Blackberry Canon Dell Facebook Google HP HTC Intel Lenovo LG Microsoft Nikon Nintendo Nokia NVIDIA Samsung Sony Sprint T-Mobile Verizon About UsSubscribeLike Engadget@engadgettip uswhen.eng("eng.nav.init")when.eng("") onBreak({980: function () {htmlAdWH("93308280", "215", "35",'AJAX','ajaxsponsor');}});Plasma thruster could propel small satellites into deep space for cheapBypostedJul 4th, 2013 at 4:00 AM 0

DNP Interplanetary CubeSat plasma thruster kickstarter project, July 4 launch

A few years from now, we might be able to send small satellites into deep space for cheap using a new propulsion system being developed by University of Michigan engineers -- assuming they raise enough money via Kickstarter. Called CAT (CubeSat Ambipolar Thruster), it's designed to propel 10 x 10 x 10 centimeter CubeSat blocks far beyond the planet's orbit using only solar energy for fuel. Thus far, similar satellites can only orbit the Earth after going along for a ride on current rockets that are larger and more expensive. In the future, CATs could head to the asteroid belt, or even as far as Saturn and Jupiter to investigate water on their moons. The $200,000 its engineers aim to raise (in exchange for your name etched on the golden layer of a spacecraft panel) will go towards the CAT engine's development and testing. The team could send an experimental thruster to space as soon as 2014 with help from NASA-Ames and Google, with a spacecraft launch targeted for 2015.



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