NASA is preparing to test a redesigned lithium-ion battery module for its first electric propulsion demonstrator, the X-57 Maxwell, as it moves toward a maiden flight planned for early in 2018. The ground test will replicate one performed in December that resulted in a destructive thermal runaway and required the packaging to be redesigned. That test involved deliberately initiating a short circuit in one battery cell to ensure the overheating did not spread to other cells—but it ...


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