Microthrusters could propel small satellites
An MIT researcher, Paulo Lozano, has developed a “microthruster” that can help propel a shoebox-sized satellite in space. The microthruster is a flat, compact square covered with 500 microscopic tips that emit jets of ion beams when stimulated with electricity. It is significantly smaller and consumes less power than current propulsion systems. Microthrusters could be used to guide so-called CubeSats, three-pound “nanosatellites,” into the atmosphere at the end of their missions.