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Australian plasma thruster gets space test

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posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 12:59 AM
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Aust-made plasma thruster facing space test


A revolutionary Australian National University-developed propulsion system will be the first of its kind to be tested in space.

The new type of rocket engine, called a plasma thruster is being modified to be launched within the next four years as part of a prototype satellite.

A collaboration between the ANU's Space Plasma Power and Propulsion group, European aerospace company EADS-Astrium and the University of Surrey was formed in March this year to develop the new plasma thruster prototype.

It will be the first time a satellite with a plasma engine has been tested in space and the first time in seven years that a piece of Australian hardware has been sent into space.


I love it when Sci-FI becomes real. All we need now is a warp drive!




posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 01:18 AM
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What I have never understood is why we Aussies do not have our own space program in the works? It's not like we don't have enough space to put a launch pad...

I seem to remember something in the works, many years ago, about a planned launchpad at Cape York (very top tip of Queensland) but that seemed to go nowhere fast...

We Aussies are at the forefront of many scientific research topics, yet we do not have a space program - the best any Aussie working in the field could hope for is a job at JPL or Never A Straight Answer meaning we have to leave the country that we love in order to work in the field that we love.

Ridiculous I say.



posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 02:05 AM
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I agree with you entirely. By not having a space program we are excluded from certain international activities regarding space law and exploration.

I recall a politician last year campaigning for an Australian space program so we could take our international place in the space forums. I think it was all washed out by the election though. It doesn't help being relatively small though so our available budget doesn't make it easy.



posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 11:52 AM
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ooo plasma thrusters...now we are getting somewhere. I wonder how much energy is needed to keep them going and how fast they can push through space?

No where close to being a warp drive but atleast AU is trying.



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