NASA Glenn engineer performs verification tests of the imaging diagnostic suite for assessment of the NEXT engine (Photo: NASA)
The NEXT ion thruster has run for 48,000 hours (Image: NASA Christopher J. Lynch (Photo: Wyle Information Systems, LLC))
On Monday, NASA announced that its advanced ion propulsion engine operated for 48,000 hours, or five and a half years – and that’s without stops for fuel or coffee. Developed under NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) project, the engine now holds the record for the longest test duration of any type of space propulsion system.
Other Images from this Gallery