The Next Generation of Space Propulsion

The bold manoeuvre took place on 28 December 2020: for the first time, a commercial satellite reached its working orbit after expelling a plasma consisting of iodine particles launched at very high speeds. By ejecting this ionised gas twice in 90 minutes through its nozzles, the high-tech thruster of the Chinese Beihangkongshi-1 mission exerted sufficient thrust to allow a spacecraft to rise to an altitude of 700 meters and position itself on its final trajectory.

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