NASA is testing a new generation of thrusters for future lunar landers, and they are glowing,media reported. In March, NASA and frontier Aerospace, a propulsion development company, conducted 60 high-temperature tests of two thruster prototypes in a vacuum compartment. NASA shared a moving image of the test ingress on the social media platform on Wednesday local time.
It looks like the most awesome night light in the world.
The thrusters are part of the agency’s Thruster for The Low-temperature Operation in Space (TALOS) project, which uses a propellant called MON-25. This propellant works well at very low temperatures in space. NASA says it will build smaller, lighter and cheaper spacecraft systems.
“Although MON-25 has been tested since the 1980s, no spacecraft has used this propellant,” NASA said in a statement Tuesday. “If the testgoes go well, the thrusters will be used for the Peregrine lander, developed by space company Astrobot.”
Peregrine is understood to be designed to carry a small payload to the moon. NASA hopes to land it on the moon’s surface in 2021, one of a series of unmanned missions planned to take place before NASA, through its Artemis program, returns astronauts to the moon in 2024.
“NASA will soon validate the design of this versatile space booster so that NASA and commercial companies can easily implement the technology in future missions,” said Greg Barnett, NASA’s project manager. “