One of the main factors limiting the life of satellites is how much propellant they can carry to execute orbital corrections. Now scientists at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid have come up with a propellantless propulsion system that also doubles as an electric generator. Using the Earth’s magnetic field interacting with a two-km (1.24-mi) long aluminum tether, the system could be used to dispose of space debris and boost the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS).
- MIT researchers propose gas stations in space
- Lunar detour could lighten the launch load for manned missions to Mars
- NASA launches search for greener propellant
- Moon Express reveals design for its MX-1 lunar lander
- NASA test-fires massive solid fuel booster
- Engineers creating carbon-negative Mars rocket