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UK edge ahead of Europe in space race with test of new plasma spaceship engine

By Eric Van Rees - 21st February 2024 - 08:24

A UK aerospace company has successfully tested a new high-tech space engine designed to launch a new generation of super satellites.

The breakthrough by Pulsar Fusion could give Britain the edge over Europe in the space sector and it’s thought it could lead to the creation of many new high-tech jobs.

The successful test of a space engine fuelled by Xenon and Krypton gas, means satellites can become much larger as the new engines are designed to fire and propel in the vacuum of space. It’s hoped the launch of bigger satellites will help to significantly improve space mining, exploration and communication.

As global launch services such as SpaceX continue to expand their capabilities, orbital payloads are expected to increase, and there is a growing demand for larger, more powerful ‘in–space propulsion’ systems. The challenge for scientists is that a large vacuum chamber is required to test bigger engines such as the one demonstrated in Southampton.

The new engine is 10 times larger than conventional engines of its kind. Pulsar conducted the test at the University of Southampton on 29th January with partial funding from the UK Space Agency. The Pulsar team believe this technology puts the UK at the forefront of space technology and advancements.

Read More: Satellite Imaging Aerospace

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