This Tron-esque glowing blue ring isn't the latest designer lamp. In fact, it's NASA's cutting-edge solar-electric propulsion thruster, being tested in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Using xenon ions to create its thrust, the engine is being considered for use as part of the Asteroid Initiativeā€”NASA's plan to capture a small asteroid and redirect it safely to an orbit around Earth. In fact, the engine is a radically updated and redesigned version of the one currently powering NASA's Dawn mission, as it head towards the asteroid belt. [NASA]


Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech