Record-Breaking Nasa Rocket That's Run Non-Stop For Five Years

Nasa's advanced ion propulsion rocket engine has run continuously for over five and a half years, setting a new world record.

This makes it the longest test duration any kind of space propulsion system demonstration project ever.

The solar-electric propulsion thruster could be used in a wide range of science missions including intriguing journeys into deep space.

The thruster is part of the space agency's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) project at its Glenn Research Centre in Cleveland.

The project aims to develop a next-generation electric propulsion system, including power processing, propellant management and other components.

Despite setting a new record by operating for more than 48,000 hours, the long-running test will be shut down.

Michael J. Patterson, principal investigator for NEXT at Glenn, said: 'We will voluntarily terminate this test at the end of this month, with the thruster fully operational.

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