A thruster is a propulsive device used by spacecraft for station keeping, attitude control, in the reaction control system, or long-duration, low-thrust acceleration. A vernier engine or gimbal engine is a particular case used on launch vehicles where a secondary rocket or other high thrust device is used to control the attitude of the rocket while the primary thrust engine (generally also a rocket engine) is fixed to the rocket and supplies the principal amount of thrust.
Some devices that are use or proposed to use as thrusters are:
- Cold gas thruster
- Electrohydrodynamic thruster, using ionized air (only for use in an atmosphere)
- Electrodeless plasma thruster, electric propulsion using ponderomotive force
- Electrostatic ion thruster, using high-voltage electrodes
- Hall effect thruster, a type of ion thruster
- Ion thruster, using beams of ions accelerated electrically
- Magnetoplasmadynamic thruster, electric propulsion using the Lorentz force
- Pulsed inductive thruster, a pulsed form of ion thruster
- Pulsed plasma thruster, using current arced across a solid propellant
- RF resonant cavity thruster, an electromagnetic thruster using microwaves
- Rocket engine, using exothermic chemical reactions of the propellant(s)
- Liquid Apogee Engine – A liquid-propellant rocket used as the primary propulsion device on geostationary orbit satellites.
- Apogee kick motor – A solid-fuel rocket used as the primary propulsion device to circularize satellites inserted into a transfer orbit.
- "Thruster". the Free Dictionary by Farlex. Retrieved 2016-09-21.
- "thruster". Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged (Hardcover) (12th ed.). HarperCollins Publishers. 2014. ISBN 9780007522743. Retrieved 2016-09-21.
- "Basics of flight: Rocket Propulsion". Rocket & Space Technology. Retrieved 2016-09-21.
- "space Propulsion Systems". Airbus Safran Launchers. Retrieved 2016-09-21.
- "Thruster". Collins English Dictionary. Retrieved 2016-09-21.
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