Spray visualization of a 19-nozzle multiplexed electrospray system.
Yale University/U.S.Army Research Laboratory

News

NASA Seeking Big Ideas for Small In-Space Propulsion Systems

WASHINGTON, D.C. — NASA’s Space Technology Program is calling for proposals to develop miniaturized electrospray propulsion technologies that could revolutionize small satellite propulsion systems.

Electrospray thrusters use electricity to energize material and then disperse a resulting liquid or aerosol through an emitter to create thrust. The development of low-mass, lightweight micro thruster technologies has the potential to radically change propulsion capabilities of small satellites by allowing variable thrust propulsion, stabilization and precision pinpointing. Such micro thrusters also might be of use for very fine pointing aboard future large space-based observatories.

“Small spacecraft are a dominant trend in aerospace today,” said NASA’s Space Technology Program Director Michael Gazarik. “As NASA develops and improves the use of small satellites for science and exploration, we recognize propulsion as a critical need to open the door for small spacecraft applications. We need better miniaturized systems to propel and maneuver our small space adventurers.”

Read more: NASA Seeking Big Ideas for Small In-Space Propulsion Systems | Moonandback.

Home           Top of page