Darwinian spacecraft engine to last twice as long


By Paul Marks SPACE agencies may one day have Charles Darwin to thank for the longevity of their spacecraft. The life expectancy of a popular type of ion engine has been almost doubled using software that mimics the way natural selection evolves ever fitter designs. Electrostatic ion engines are becoming popular in space missions. Instead of relying on burning large amounts of heavy liquid propellant for thrust,
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