Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



The First US Hall Thruster Is Operational In Space

The BHT-200 Hall Effect Thruster.
by Staff Writers
Natick MA (SPX) Mar 06, 2007
Busek announces the historic launch and successful in-space operation of its BHT-200 Hall Effect Thruster. The Busek Thruster, part of the Microsatellite Propulsion Integration (MPI) Experiment, was integrated on the Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL) TacSat-2 satellite, under the direction of the DoD Space Test Program, which launched December 16, 2006 from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, VA.

The thruster represents the first US-designed and built Hall Effect Thruster in orbit, and serves as a demonstration of advanced US electric propulsion technology. Hall Effect Thrusters use ionized Xenon gas (a plasma) that is accelerated electrostatically by an induced electric field. Hall Effect Thrusters provide multiple advantages to the satellite industry and have the potential to displace many traditional propulsion systems.

With five to 10 times greater efficiency in propellant use than conventional chemical thrusters, Hall Effect Thrusters enable commercial and military satellite operators to cut launch weight and associated costs while maintaining existing performance standards. Other benefits include a greater range of satellite maneuverability, effectively increasing the operational utility of satellite systems, and enabling an "on-demand" satellite service-provider model.

The development of Busek's BHT-200 and its source of electrons, the BHC-1500, 3mm hollow cathode, were initiated by the AFRL through an SBIR contract. The flight hardware was completed in 2005 and delivered to Northrop Grumman Space Technology (NGST) in early in 2006.

NGST served as the overall propulsion system integrator and delivered the propulsion system to the AFRL VS at Kirtland AFB which integrated the system on the spacecraft. The Hall Effect Thruster has a total efficiency of 43%, and delivers 13mN thrust, 1375sec specific impulse at its nominal input power of 200W.

Operational testing of TacSat-2 and its components is ongoing by the Department of Defense, the AFRL, and the Office of Force Transformation. TacSat-2 is the first in a series of satellites to demonstrate the Air Force's Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) program and is a demonstration platform for the future rapid deployment of small, flexible satellite systems.

Related Links
BHT-200 Hall Effect Thruster
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


Gravity Mission To Benefit From QinetiQ Precision
Paris, France (SPX) Jan 15, 2007
QinetiQ has conducted the final testing of its T5 ion thrusters that will enable a European space mission to measure and map the Earth's gravity field in far greater detail than ever previously achieved. QinetiQ's T5 ion thrusters will provide high precision drag compensation for the European Space Agency (ESA) GOCE spacecraft, due for launch later this year. The data captured by GOCE will contribute significantly to our understanding of the Earth's structure, climate and the impacts of climate change.







  • Korolev R-7 Rocket Leads The Field For Reliability
  • The First US Hall Thruster Is Operational In Space
  • Cornell To Study Planetary Magnetic Fields Propulsion Research Under NASA Grant
  • Aerojet Tests Next Generation Safety Capability

  • Russia May Open New Space Launch Site
  • Hyundai To Build First South Korea Launch Pad
  • Construction Of Soyuz Launch Base In French Guiana Begins
  • Satellite Launcher Arianespace Seeks To Boost US Business

  • Space Shuttle Atlantis Rolls Back
  • Fuel To Be Removed From Space Shuttle
  • Space Shuttle Atlantis External Tank Hit By Major Hail Storm On Pad
  • NASA Delays Shuttle Atlantis Launch Due To Hail Damage

  • No Adjustment To ISS Orbit Due To Atlantis Launch Postponement
  • Space Station Safety Report Released
  • ISS Crew Complete Hour Space Walk As Next Shuttle Crew Conduct Dry Countdown
  • Soyuz TMA-10 Spacecraft To Launch Expedition 15 Crew To ISS On April 7

  • Astrophysicist Hawking To Try Out Weightlessness
  • Impossible For Great Wall To Be Visible With Naked Eye From From Space
  • Japanese Instant Noodle Pioneer In Final Blastoff
  • US Space Agency Looks To The Moon And Beyond

  • Homemade Suit For Chinese Spacewalk
  • China To Prioritize Three Areas In Space Program
  • If You Love Me Order Some Purple Space Potatoes
  • China, US Have No Space Cooperation

  • Look Ma, No Hands, No Humans
  • Learning From Mistakes Next Challenge For Japanese Humanoids
  • Superbots In Action
  • NASA Helps Create A March Madness For Robotics

  • Rosetta Delivers Phobos Transit Animation And Sees Mars In Stereo
  • SpaceDev's Starsys Division Awarded Contract For NASA Mars Science Explorer Mission
  • Where Is Beagle 2
  • Sensor Being Developed To Check For Life On Mars

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright Space.TV Corporation. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space.TV Corp on any Web page published or hosted by Space.TV Corp. Privacy Statement