What is a Cold Gas Thruster?

1 Answer
Can you answer this question?
Jul 27, 2022

A cold gas thruster is a type of propulsion system which uses the expansion of pressurized gas to generate thrust. It consist of a fuel tank, a regulating valve, and a propelling nozzle. The nozzle of a cold gas thruster is generally made of a convergent-divergent shape so that it provides a required thrust in flight. The nozzle is shaped in such a manner that the high-pressure, low-velocity gas that enters the nozzle is expanded as it approaches the throat (the narrowest part of the nozzle) of the nozzle, where the gas velocity matches the speed of sound.

The propellant used in a cold gas thruster can be a solid, liquid, or gaseous propellant. Typically, an inert pressurized gas is used for generating thrust, or propellant with a high specific impulse is chosen since a higher specific impulse indicates better performance by the thruster.

The main advantage of a cold gas thruster is the lack of combustion taking place and hence as a result, it eliminates the need for heat management systems. Cold gas thruster is smaller compared to traditional thrusters, which makes it a suitable choice for missions with limited volume and weight requirements. The inert fuel used by cold gas thruster is inexpensive but has lower thrust and efficiency compared to monopropellant and bipropellant thrusters.

Click here to learn more about Cold Gas Thrusters featured on SatNow.

Space Missions - A list of all Space Missions


Name Date
Altius 01 May, 2025
AWS 01 Mar, 2024
Eutelsat Quantum 30 Jul, 2021
Sentinel 6 21 Nov, 2020
Cheops 18 Dec, 2019
EDRS 06 Aug, 2019
Small Geostationary Satellite 17 Nov, 2018
BepiColombo 20 Oct, 2018
Aeolus 22 Aug, 2018
Sentinel 3B 25 Apr, 2018


Name Date
EOS-2 07 Aug, 2022
EOS-4 14 Feb, 2022
EOS-3 12 Aug, 2021
EOS-1 07 Nov, 2020
RISAT-2BR1 11 Dec, 2019
Cartosat-3 27 Nov, 2019
Chandrayaan II 06 Sep, 2019
RISAT-2B 22 May, 2019
Resourcesat-2A 07 Dec, 2016
AstroSat 28 Sep, 2015


Name Date
NEO Surveyor 01 Jun, 2028
Libera 01 Dec, 2027
Europa Clipper 10 Oct, 2024
SpaceX CRS-29 09 Nov, 2023
Psyche 13 Oct, 2023
DSOC 13 Oct, 2023
Psyche Asteroid 05 Oct, 2023
Expedition 70 27 Sep, 2023
SpaceX Crew-7 25 Aug, 2023
STARLING 18 Jul, 2023