|Artist's concept of a single-state-to-orbit spacecraft, powered with beamed microwaves. C|
By Jeff Foust
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A small Colorado company has successfully tested a new type of propulsion technology that it believes could eventually enable low-cost, single-stage-to-orbit launch vehicles.
Broomfield, Colorado-based Escape Dynamics announced July 17 it carried out a small-scale test in the laboratory of its beamed microwave thruster. In that test, the company beamed microwave energy to a thruster, heating helium propellant and generating a small amount of thrust.
"Using microwave-powered propulsion is really what we think is the next giant leap in space access," said company president Laetitia Garriott de Cayeux
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