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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.