Gallery: New Pee-Powered Plasma Thruster Could Allow Astronauts to Trav...

 

A new type of plasma thruster, currently in development at the Australian National University, could be a game-changer for deep space missions. Researchers at ANU believe that the new plasma thruster will help satellites travel for longer and farther into deep space. And unlike most plasma thrusters, which use expensive noble gases like xenon, the ANU’s helicon double layer plasma thruster (HDLT) will be able to use virtually any kind of propellant, including human urine.

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  1. MarkinScottsdale August 15, 2014 at 6:11 am

    After a conventional jet engine being “the latest thing” for aircraft propulsion for over 50 years now – it seems LONG overdue that some of these formerly black projects that the government developed with various labs and universities some 20 or more years ago and are now finally being “re-invented” in the public arena and will be allowed to go into production commercially. A silent aircraft engine generating 100 times more thrust per kilowatt of power used vs conventional Jet Engine, With that kind of efficiencies behind it, this tech has the potential to replace land based transport of semi-critical / perishable goods. One or two of these thrusters attached to a large drone-type craft scaled up to provide space for several tons of produce or whatever, could move that cargo from one airport to another in a matter of hours, for almost no cost for fuel, and no necessity for a human pilot onboard either. Let the computer fly it to it’s destination and the thrusters would provide the necessary lift and forward air-speed at a fuel cost of pennies per ton vs several dollars per ton at current pricing and tech..

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