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In-Space Propulsion Technology products for NASA's future science and exploration missions

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5 Author(s)
Anderson, D.J. ; NASA Glenn Res. Center, Cleveland, OH, USA ; Pencil, E. ; Peterson, T. ; Dankanich, J.
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Since 2001, the In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) project has been developing and delivering in-space propulsion technologies that will enable or enhance NASA robotic science missions. These in-space propulsion technologies are applicable, and potentially enabling, for future NASA flagship and sample return missions currently being considered, as well as having broad applicability to future competed mission solicitations. The high-temperature Advanced Material Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) engine providing higher performance for lower cost was completed in 2009. Two other ISPT technologies are nearing completion of their technology development phase: 1) NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion propulsion system, a 0.6-7 kW throttle-able gridded ion system; and 2) Aerocapture technology development with investments in a family of thermal protection system (TPS) materials and structures; guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C) models of blunt-body rigid aeroshells; aerothermal effect models: and atmospheric models for Earth, Titan, Mars and Venus. This paper provides status of the technology development, applicability, and availability of in-space propulsion technologies that have recently completed their technology development and will be ready for infusion into NASA's Discovery, New Frontiers, Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Flagship, and Exploration technology demonstration missions.

Published in:

Aerospace Conference, 2011 IEEE

Date of Conference:

5-12 March 2011

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