The Russian “Keldish” Center for Space Scientific Research is planning to conduct space tests of the promising ion engines after 2025.
This was stated to the Russian “TASS” agency, a spokesman for the center, saying that the new engine tests would take place in the years 2025 – 2030.
He explained that the center’s engineers had made ready-made test models for the engine, with a capacity between 200 watts and 35 kilowatts. Its technical specifications are now confirmed. A test model of a 100-kilowatt engine is expected to be released soon.
According to the spokesman, the low-power engines will be used in space devices (satellites and spacecraft) flying in low Earth orbit. As for the high-powered ion engines, they will be used in vehicles, trucks, and scientific stations that are sent to the moon and other planets.
The spokesman explained that the life of the ion engine is estimated at 15 years.
It is noteworthy that the ion engine is a type of electric motor whose principle of operation is to produce the thrust caused by the ionizing gas that has been accelerated to a tremendous speed. A feature of the engine is low fuel consumption and a long period of uninterrupted operation.