Ionthrusters are nowadays routinely used onsatellites for attitude control and fordedicated space missions, such as GOCE andDawn. The commonly used propellant for ionthrusters is the noble-gas xenon, whichcomprise some advantages such as highatomic mass, no chemical reactivity, andefficient ionization. One disadvantage ofxenon is the high price, which leads tohigh costs for testing and qualificationof thrusters. Potential candidates foralternative propellants are currentlyunder investigation in the electricpropulsion community.
Mr. Tsuruhu will visit ASRI on May 14, together with a delegation of 17 government, administration and media representatives.
A paper on the new ASRI's DriveSat nanosatellite will be presented during the conference,
held in Berlin, Germany, April 24-28.
Chief Scientist of the Ministry Of Science And Technology, Dr. Alexander Bligh, will visit ASRI.
Dr. Worden will talk about the Breakthrough Starshot challenge that aims to demonstrate a proof of concept for ultra-fast radiation-driven Nano- crafts, and lay the foundations for a first launch to Alpha Centauri within the next generation.
The recent progress in small satellite technology allows to consider scientific missions based even on very small satellites (cube and nanosats). The scientific instrumentation can be miniaturized to be used as payloads in these satellites, including UV and X-ray telescopes.