ARIEL, the next-gen mission of the European Space Agency (ESA), has successfully passed the Preliminary Design Review. The launch of the mission, which aims to observe the chemical composition of distant extrasolar planets, is scheduled for 2029. The Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences is preparing one of the key instruments of the telescope.
Green, high-performance, hypergolic (capable of self-ignition when mixed) propellants have been the Holy Grail of space propulsion for decades. In recent months, engineers and scientists from Łukasiewicz - Institute of Aviation have successfully completed a number of tests leading to solving this challenge, the representatives of the institute report.
The mechanism responsible for accelerating electrons and protons and for heating plasma in shock waves generated in rarefied ionised gas (plasma) was discovered by scientists from the Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw and the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.