Russian plasma rocket engine VERA has been tested and is ready to work in space

Employees of the laboratory of plasma rocket engines of the LaPlaz Institute of National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, after completing fire tests of the installation as part of a nanosatellite of the CubeSat 3U format, came to the conclusion that the VERA (Volume-Effective Rocket-propulsion Assembly) plasma propulsion system is completely ready for operation in real space flights.

The tests allowed the scientists to test the engine’s electromagnetic compatibility with the rest of the spacecraft’s systems. The Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver, the antenna of which falls into the zone of action of the plasma jet of the engine, caused great concern to the researchers.

Russian plasma rocket engine VERA has been tested and is ready to work in space

According to the test results, we did not reveal any negative effect of the engine on the satellite systems. Neither during testing, nor during the subsequent thorough check in the manufacturer’s laboratory, we did not find any breakdowns or malfunctions in the operation of electronic components. This means that the propulsion system is completely ready for operation in real space flights.

Igor Egorov, head of the laboratory of plasma engines at the LaPlaz Institute.

This year, two plasma engines will fly on a Soyuz-2 rocket into a sun-synchronous orbit. They will have to breed nanosatellites that track the movement of ships in the orbital plane to increase the observation area.

If the test vehicles are successfully tested in orbit, in the future a constellation of dozens of nanosatellites can be created, which will collect and transmit to the control center data on the movement of all civilian ships throughout the Earth every day.

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