TECH + knowledge + Y: What is electric propulsion?


[MUSIC] What is electric propulsion or ion propulsion? Electric propulsion is the use of electrical
energy off a satellite to accelerate a gas and then create thrust. Our nation has gone to a global, space-based
infrastructure. If you receive Sirius XM Radio or Direct TV,
it’s provided by a satellite 20,000 miles above you. And that satellite has to be positioned directly
above you at all times. However, we can’t hold a satellite perfectly
still and the earth is not perfectly round, so it tends to drift over time and we need
a propulsion system to hold that satellite in position above you at all times. Traditionally, we provide the propulsion with
chemicals. That is, we mix a fuel and oxidize it together. We get a high pressure, high temperature fire,
just like you see on the Space Shuttle, and that’s how we hold the satellite in position. The problem is that eventually, that satellite
runs out of fuel, and when it’s out of fuel, the satellite is effectively dead. We’ve overcome that limitation with electric
propulsion. By using electricity off the satellite, we
can simply turn up the voltage on the engine, increase the efficiency, and now we get more
miles per gallon for the fuel on that satellite. We use that capability to make the same satellite
with the same performance, but with less propellant, which means a smaller satellite. We can now launch several small satellites
off of a single launch vehicle. This reduces the cost of putting that satellite
on orbit and eventually reduces the cost of beaming the information to you. So, what is the impact of electric propulsion
on your life? It actually reduces the cost of getting information
beamed to you from space. [MUSIC]

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2 thoughts on “TECH + knowledge + Y: What is electric propulsion?”

  1. Sopon Charaswat says:

    @ An explanation of The Internal Thrust Propulsion System :

  2. Anon ymous says:

    Electric propulsion my ass. THE EARTH IS FLAT AND DOES NOT MOVE. Everything in this video is created using CGI programs!!!! WHERE IS THE REAL EVIDENCE?!!!!

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