Starlink satellites are equipped with efficient ion thrusters powered by krypton that enable the satellites to orbit raise, maneuver in space, and deorbit at the end of their useful life. NSTAR is an electron bombardment thruster – a type of ion propulsion system – developed by NASA and Hughes Research Laboratories (now part of Boeing). Ion …

NSTAR ION THRUSTER PLUME IMPACTS ASSESSMENTS RogerM. The In an ion thruster, ions are accelerated by electrostatic forces. Myers, Nyma Inc., NASALewis ResearchCenter Brook Park, OH 44142 Eric J. Pencil and Vincent K. Rawlin • NASA Lewis ResearchCenter Cleveland, OH44135 Michael Kussmaul Nyma Inc.,NASALewis ResearchCenter Brookpark,OH 44142 axl KatesshaOden Tennessee StateUniversity Nashville, TN 37209 Abstract … NSTAR Xenon Ion Thruster on Deep Space 1: Ground and flight tests (invited) Review of Scientific Instruments 71, 1389 (2000 ... 30 cm, ring-cusp, xenon ion engine was launched on the Deep Space 1 (DS1) spacecraft on 24 Oct. 1998 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The ion thrusters being developed now are being designed to operate for 7 to 10 years. ion propulsion system on DS1: 1. STAR TRACKER. NEXT Ion Engine Test Firing Thrusters NASA’s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster(NEXT) is a gridded-ion thruster. The first ion thrusters did not last very long, but the ion thruster on Deep Space 1 exceeded expectations and was used more than 16,000 hours during a period of over 2 years. 2. In an ion thruster, ions are accelerated by electrostatic forces. INTER-CUSP ION AND ELECTRON TRANSPORT IN A NSTAR-DERIV ATIVE ION THRUSTER John E. Foster National Aeronautics and Space Administration Glenn Research Center Cleveland, Ohio 44135 SUMMARY Diffusion of electrons and ions to anode surlaces between the magnetic cusps of a NASA Solar Electric Propul­ sion Technology Application Readiness ion thlUster has been characterized. Adequate engine life—Prior to the NSTAR project, no ion engine intended for primary propulsion had ever been successfully operated for its full design life.

Starlink is the first krypton propelled spacecraft ever flown. It was used to propel the Deep Space 1 probe.