ESA has developed an engine that operates on air molecules

The team has developed an electric motor that will solve the problem with fuel.

ESA has developed an engine that operates on air molecules

Space satellites became a part of a person's daily life. Cellular communications, GPS and television depend on the "crumbs" that fly in the Earth's orbit. For full-fledged operation they need fuel, which ends, and satellites fail.

This is in the past

The team of the European Space Agency has developed an electric motor that will solve the problem with fuel. The device collects air molecules from the upper atmosphere of the Earth and creates an electric charge that accelerates and is ejected, creating a shock.

With the help of this technology, satellites can be in the low orbit of the planet as long as this is necessary. Due to the impact of the moon, satellites spend fuel on maintaining the required point. Sometimes the serviceable satellite descends from its place and ceases to bring money because of the finished fuel.

Field tests

The electric motor has already been tested on the gravitational mapper GOCE. Thanks to this technology, the satellite worked for five years on electric traction, which minimized air resistance. Yet GOCE was dependent on xenon and could not work longer.

Space companies such as NASA, ViviSatand The China National Space Administration have already shown the possibility of refueling, but this option looks more successful. First, it's easier, and secondly - it's cheaper.

A ESA researcher, Louis Wolpot, said that an air engine on electric traction is a "tangible working concept, and not just a theory." According to him, the device needs to be developed, and one day it "will become the basis for new-class space missions."

Also an electric motor can be used on other planets, for example, on Mars, using carbon dioxide. Thus, satellites will be able to explore distant planets that have not been seen before.

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