This image shows the exhaust produced by a 6 kW Hall thruster at the Nasa Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. Unlike rockets that rely on chemical propulsion, the ion thrusters use electricity to create an electromagnetic field to produce thrust. As the ionised particles leave the aircraft, they generate a force in the reverse direction. Photo: Nasa

Electric vehicles in deep space: China hails its new ion thruster for rockets as the world’s best

State media says new-generation propulsion device will improve the mobility and lifespan of China’s space assets, adds that Hall-effect thruster has already been delivered to Chinese customers in the industry

Topic |   China science

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This image shows the exhaust produced by a 6 kW Hall thruster at the Nasa Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. Unlike rockets that rely on chemical propulsion, the ion thrusters use electricity to create an electromagnetic field to produce thrust. As the ionised particles leave the aircraft, they generate a force in the reverse direction. Photo: Nasa
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Stephen Chen

Stephen Chen

Stephen Chen investigates major research projects in China, a new power house of scientific and technological innovation. He has worked for the Post since 2006. He is an alumnus of Shantou University, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and the Semester at Sea programme which he attended with a full scholarship from the Seawise Foundation.