Assessment of Ion Thrusters for Propelling Crewed Interplanetary Missions
Ion thrusters have traditionally been used to power Earth-orbiting satellites, but new tests suggest they could be capable of much more. According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Hall thrusters may be able to propel crewed interplanetary missions in the future.
The team tested two types of ion engines: one that uses xenon gas as fuel and another that combines nitrogen with argon gas. They found that both were able to generate enough thrust for long-distance space travel while also being efficient when it comes to fuel consumption; this makes them ideal candidates for propelling spacecraft over great distances without having too heavy a payload or requiring frequent refueling stops along the way.
This research is an important step towards making crewed interplanetary missions possible shortly, as it shows us just how powerful these small yet mighty ion engines can be when given a chance! With further testing and development, we may soon see humans exploring distant worlds powered solely by Hall thrusters—a feat once thought impossible only decades ago!Read more at Futurism