Recent PhD graduate Paddy Neumann has just signed a deal with Airbus Space & Defence to launch his record-breaking prototype ion drive to the ISS for testing. Mr Neumann made headlines in 2015 when his ion drive smashed NASAs record for fuel efficiency. Now it will be taken up to the International Space Station to undergo testing in a real operational environment. What makes this exciting is that, if they can get it to work, it will revolutionise space travel. This is because an ion drive does not require the massive amounts of fuel that conventional rockets do. Instead they heat up metal to turn it into plasma, which is ejected from the rear of the drive to provide propulsion. It would also have the added benefit of cleaning up the man-made debris floating around in space as this could be the source of that fuel.
Posted: Fri 07 Oct 2016