by Staff Writers
Cleveland OH (SPX) Jun 20, 2011
NASA issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) seeking proposals for mission concept studies of a solar electric propulsion system demonstration to test and validate key capabilities and technologies for future exploration missions.
Multiple studies have shown the advantages of using solar electric propulsion to efficiently transport heavy payloads from low Earth orbit to higher orbits. This concept enables the delivery of payloads to low Earth orbit via conventional chemical rockets.
The use of solar electric propulsion could then spiral payloads out to higher energy orbits, including Lagrange point one, a potential assembly point in space between Earth and the moon. This approach could facilitate missions to near Earth asteroids and other destinations in deep space.
Science missions could use solar electric propulsion to reach distant regions of the solar system, and commercial missions could use solar electric propulsion tugs to place, service, resupply, reposition and salvage space assets.
NASA's strategic roadmaps for exploration, science and advanced technology all consider solar electric propulsion a vital and necessary future capability.
NASA is examining potential mission concepts for a high-power solar electric propulsion system demonstration. Flying a demonstration mission on a representative trajectory through the Van Allen radiation belts and operating in actual space environments could reveal unknown systems-level and operational issues. Mission data will lower the technical and cost risk associated with future solar electric propulsion spacecraft.
The flight demonstration mission would test and validate key capabilities and technologies required for future exploration elements such as a 300 kilowatt solar electric transfer vehicle.
This Solar Electric Propulsion Demonstration Mission Concept Studies announcement is open to all non-government United States institutions, academia, industry and nonprofit organizations. NASA anticipates making multiple firm-fixed-priced awards with a total value up to $2 million. The deadline for submitting proposals is July 18.
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
Aerojet Propellant-Saving Xenon Ion Thruster Exceeds 30,000 Hours
Sacramento CA (SPX) Jun 30, 2010
Aerojet, reports that its innovative ion propulsion engine - built in partnership between Aerojet and NASA's Glenn Research Center - has completed a test series encompassing the requirements of a wide range of ambitious space missions, including the recently announced Flagship Technology Demonstrator first mission (FTD-1). The thruster was developed under NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|