Engineering students to test tether propulsion with tiny satellites

NATH >> Spacecrafts are basically disposable,
like they're really expensive, we want to make them last as long as possible JENKINS >> What we're trying to do is create a propellant-less propulsion system from
localized plasma around the spacecraft. MILLER >> If we're able to be successful they
could really extend these missions past what a standard cubesat can do right
now. LAFAYETTE >> You could have satellites as small as a
cell phone that could stay up there for ages, essentially. [Instructing students] Make sure you're not,
like, double touching wires around it. I think it's like the seventh over on
the front side.

STUDENT >> We have a good amount of work still to be done. We've been having
some troubles with our flight code There are a number of tests we have to do for pretty much every piece of hardware. NATH >> We actually found some mistakes in the
design of the board itself. We can design around it. TANG >> There's a lot of components, a
lot of things going in. No one has really succeeded in doing this before. We're just gonna hope that it doesn't break when we do the testing. MILLER >> We're pumped, there's no other way to say it. We're excited to get this data. LAFAYETTE >> It's been, like, the cornerstone of my time here at Michigan. I have made my mark on
something that's actually going into space, that's just wild. TANG >> Looking up in the
sky with a telescope you see a glimmer of light and you can say, "That's my
satellite up there."

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