NASA has comparison Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc. of Redmond, Washington, to pattern and rise an modernized electric bearing element that will significantly allege a nation’s blurb space capabilities, and capacitate low space scrutiny missions, including a robotic apportionment of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) and a Journey to Mars.
The Advanced Electric Propulsion System (AEPS) agreement is a 36-month cost-plus-fixed-fee agreement with a opening inducement and sum value of $67 million. Work achieved underneath a agreement could potentially boost spaceflight travel fuel potency by 10 times over stream chemical bearing record and some-more than double bearing capability compared to stream electric bearing systems.
“Through this contract, NASA will be building modernized electric bearing elements for initial spaceflight applications, that will pave a approach for an modernized solar electric bearing proof goal by a finish of a decade,” pronounced Steve Jurczyk, associate director of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) in Washington. “Development of this record will allege a destiny in-space travel capability for a accumulation of NASA low space tellurian and robotic scrutiny missions, as good as private blurb space missions.”
Aerojet Rocketdyne will manage a growth and smoothness of an integrated electric bearing element consisting of a thruster, energy estimate section (PPU), low-pressure xenon upsurge controller, and electrical harness. NASA has grown and tested a antecedent thruster and PPU that a association can use as a anxiety design.
The association will construct, exam and broach an engineering growth section for contrast and analysis in credentials for producing a follow-on moody units. During a choice duration of a contract, if exercised, a association will develop, determine and broach 4 integrated moody units – a electric bearing units that will fly in space. The work being achieved underneath this agreement will be led by a group of NASA Glenn Research Center engineers, with additional technical support by Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) engineers.
This work will directly element new modernized solar array systems work, also saved by STMD. NASA anticipates a electrical energy to work this modernized electric bearing moody element in space will be generated by solar arrays regulating structures identical to those that were grown underneath a solar array systems contracts.
NASA has been enlightening growth of spaceflight electric bearing record for some-more than 5 decades, a initial successful ion electric bearing thruster being grown during Glenn in a 1950s. The initial operational exam of an electric bearing element in space was Glenn’s Space Electric Rocket Test 1, that flew on Jul 20, 1964.
Since then, NASA has increasingly relied on solar electric bearing for long-duration, deep-space robotic scholarship and scrutiny missions to mixed destinations, a many new being NASA’s Dawn mission. The Dawn mission, managed by JPL, surveyed a hulk asteroid Vesta and a protoplanet, Ceres, between 2011 and 2015.
The modernized electric bearing element is a subsequent step in NASA’s Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) project, that is building vicious technologies to extend a operation and capabilities of desirous new scholarship and scrutiny missions. ARM, NASA’s goal to constraint an asteroid stone and place it in circuit around a moon in a mid-2020s, will exam a largest and many modernized SEP element ever employed for space missions.