Developing the next generation of resistojets

Current development

The development of the STAR thruster is currently funded by a UK Space Agency National Space Technology Programme (NSTP) Flagship grant: Super-High Temperature Resistojets for All-Electric Telecommunication Satellites (STAR). The thruster is at TRL 5, with Engineering Models under production and the qualification campaign set to be completed by Q2-2021. The project consortium corresponds to the supply chain of the thruster.


The innovative heater technology has also broader applications, currently under investigation through the project HEETS (Highly Efficient Electro-Thermal System) funded by the ICURe programme (SETsquared).

In the clip: STAR thruster during testing in thermal vacuum chamber pulsing at a maximum temperature of 2,400 K.











Relevant publications

Manufacturing of a high-temperature resistojet heat exchanger by selective laser melting
Romei, F., Grubišić, A.N., Gibbon, D., Acta Astronautica, 2017, 138, pp. 356-368


Numerical study of a novel monolithic heat exchanger for electrothermal space propulsion
Romei, F., Grubisic, A., Acta Astronautica, 2019, 159, pp. 8-16


Validation of an additively manufactured resistojet through experimental and computational analysis
Romei, F., Grubišić, A.N., Acta Astronautica, 2020, 167, pp. 14-22


Endurance testing of the additively manufactured STAR resistojet
Robinson, M., Grubišić, A., Rempelos, G., Romei, F., Ogunlesi, C., Ahmed, S., Materials and Design, 2019, 180, 107907


Novel Non-Destructive Inspection of the STAR Additively Manufactured Resistojet
Ogunlesi, C., Grubisic, A., Romei, F., Robinson, M., Aimone, P., Dary, F., Gibbon, D., Curtis-Rouse, M., Space Propulsion Conference 2018