To practically see the feasibility of this idea, the researchers put the test satellite in a vacuum chamber at SUNY Binghamton; then they shot the charge ions on this satellite in the same way as it happen in the outer space.
No chemical propellant are used in this system, however it doesn’t mean that this is a fuel-less device. It has radioactive material – Americium 241 – which emits charged particles; it is also having electric device with solar cells or battery; which are required essentially to maintain the satellite’s charge.
As the charged ions flowed around the test satellite, its charged particles were whipped off “like wet paint off an aircraft,” said Peck.
The electrical arc produced by the electrical charge – which is created on the two metals used in the satellite – blow off the solder.
Peck said that recently performed tests of solder-less satellites at University of Michigan are found to be successful in results.
Manuel Martinez Sanchez, who is the Director of the Space Propulsion Laboratory of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said; “I don’t think this is going to make satellite designers very excited,”
He further said that this technology would not be successful for propelling a satellite.
It could only be used for changing the satellite orbit; which doesn’t need energy for its movement. The magnetic propulsion system will be tested only when it will be sent to outer space. Peck and his fellow scientists determined to perform the Sputnik-style test in the near future; in which a little beep sound confirms the success of the mission.