For the next three weeks I’m going to start every blog post with a reminder about the BuildTheEnterprise White House petition. Just click here to see it. The BTE symbol for promoting the petition is here.
NASA has been testing a new ion thruster, and it is just set a record for the longest run time. The NEXT ion thruster has been operated for over 43,000 hours. Since one year is 8760 hours, that means that this engine has run for 4.9 years.
While this is only a 7 kilowatt engine, this none the less shows the long life capabilities of electric propulsion engines. The Enterprise will need VASIMR-like engines which are much higher power.