Gallery: MIT Develops Cheap, Lightweight Penny-Sized Microthruster For ...

Paulo Lozano holds a small thruster made of silicon, gold, and porous metals that will be used in orbit on small satellites.

An associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT has designed a penny-sized rocket thruster that could be used to power the smallest satellites in space. Paulo Lozano‘s device aims to replace current bulky satellite engines, which are heavy and require more fuel to power. Lozano’s system is a flat, compact alternative that is covered with 500 microscopic tips that, when stimulated with voltage, emit tiny beams of ions propelling the satellite forward.

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