[Satellite TODAY 08-05-09] Aerojet
, a U.S. supplier of satellite propulsion systems and NEC Corp.
have partnered to explore the feasibility of jointly supplying low power ion propulsion systems, used for geosynchronous satellites, for the U.S. and Japanese aerospace markets, the companies announced Aug. 4.
The companies said the ion propulsion systems could provide significant advantages over traditional chemical propulsion systems due to the system’s higher fuel efficiency. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
(JAXA) and NEC jointly developed a low-power microwave ion engine that uses microwaves for ion generation. The ion engines are currently flying on JAXA's Hayabusa asteroid rendezvous and study mission.
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