Latest in Science

Image credit:

Plasma thruster could propel small satellites into deep space for cheap

19 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

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.


All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
19 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget’s guide to Home Entertainment

Engadget’s guide to Home Entertainment

View
NVIDIA will remaster more games with RTX ray tracing

NVIDIA will remaster more games with RTX ray tracing

View
Safari in iOS sends some Safe Browsing data to Tencent

Safari in iOS sends some Safe Browsing data to Tencent

View
US says digital assets are covered by money laundering and disclosure laws

US says digital assets are covered by money laundering and disclosure laws

View
San Francisco's proposed office would prevent 'reckless' tech rollouts

San Francisco's proposed office would prevent 'reckless' tech rollouts

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr