ESA fires air breathing electric thruster

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drew
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ESA fires air breathing electric thruster

Postby drew » Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:18 pm

A world first apparently. Thing looks like an oversized space turbine jet engine!

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Engineering_Technology/World-first_firing_of_air-breathing_electric_thruster
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OverTheTop
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Re: ESA fires air breathing electric thruster

Postby OverTheTop » Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:48 pm

Absolutely brilliant! Fantastic concept and not out-of-this-world difficult. Perfect for something like the Goce (an ESA mission, pronounced "go-chay") mission that they mention in there, and they would be able to keep it flying for a long time :D

Reminds me a bit of the Bussard Ramjet, except it has the luxury of a high density of atoms to collect and doesn't need an electromagnetic scoop:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bussard_ramjet

rair___ramscoop_field_by_smpritchard-d4cejbl.jpg
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SpaceManMat
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Re: ESA fires air breathing electric thruster

Postby SpaceManMat » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:16 am

Very cool, this will open up some really low orbits for science observation that could only previously be reached by sounding rockets.
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