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UK-DMC-1 (2003)

First demonstration of a water propulsion system, UK-DMC-1 (2003)

As well as carrying remote sensing imaging sensors, UK-DMC-1 also carried experimental payloads including a water-based propulsion system developed by SSTL.   The water propulsion system was designed and built in less than 6 months with a total system mass of 188g, which included 2.06g of propellant. The thruster was orientated to spin up the spacecraft, and its thrust was measured using the reaction wheels to compensate for the torque generated. Average thrust of 3.3mN was achieved.
 
UK-DMC-1 was placed in a lower orbit in November 2010, as it neared the end of its operational life.  Daily operations ceased in November 2011, after over eight years in orbit.
 
UK-DMC-1 water propulsion system