NASA pours $67 million into solar electric spacecraft engines

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NASA is large on solar electric propulsion (the Dawn spacecraft uses it, for instance) for a great reason: while a engines aren't powerful, they supply bearing for a very long time before giving up a ghost. And it now looks like a group is ready to double down on that super-efficient tech. It just awarded a $67 million, 3-year contract to Aerojet Rocketdyne in hopes of developing an advanced solar electric propulsion system. The new record could deliver twice as much thrust, and would be up to 10 times some-more efficient than containing alkali engines -- both large deals for low space missions.

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