. Space Travel News .

Northrop Grumman Develops Solar Electric Propulsion Flight Concepts for Future Space Missions
by Staff Writers
Redondo Beach CA (SPX) Feb 02, 2012

File image.

Northrop Grumman was recently awarded a contract to study high-power solar electric propulsion flight system technology for NASA deep space and human exploration missions.

"In collaboration with our partners, we are working on alternatives to the typical solar array approach," said Jim Munger, solar electric propulsion program manager, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.

"Our concept will be scalable to 300 kilowatts and beyond and have the potential for reducing the cost and complexity of high-power requirements."

The company is partnered with Sandia National Laboratories and the University of Michigan's Department of Aerospace Engineering to create a technology road map for near-term NASA space missions.

NASA's goal is to develop a high-power solar electric propulsion system for a "space tugboat" that can ferry satellites from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO), saving fuel and secondary booster costs.

The availability of a solar-powered vehicle would make it possible to launch spacecraft to LEO, then ferry them to GEO, allowing much heavier payloads to reach GEO while still using existing launch vehicles.

The study is designed to develop mission concepts that will be using technology at NASA Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5 or greater, which means that a basic prototype has been validated in a relevant environment (simulating space) and includes initial integration at some level with other operational systems.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.

With facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major research and development responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

The Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich., has been recognized as one of the leading departments of its kind in the country. Professor Alec D. Gallimore will lead the department's effort for Northrop Grumman.

NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio, will manage the project. In addition to other numerous technology development activities, the Center designs game-changing technology for spaceflight that enables further exploration of the universe.

Related Links
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

And it's 3... 2... 1... blastoff! Discover the thrill of a real-life rocket launch.


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Indian school teacher set for US space programme
Pune (IANS) Feb 1, 2012
Over 1,100 students and teachers of the reputed Vidya Valley School here screamed with joy when Vandana Suryawanshi became the first foreign teacher to be chosen for a prestigious US space programme next April. And she herself is already looking forward to sharing the knowledge she gains there with her pupils. A thrilled Vandana, who teaches at the school, told IANS: 'I had submitted a projec ... read more

SpaceX flight to ISS could be late March: NASA

Feb 13 set as new date for Europe's Vega rocket

Launch of Proton-M with Dutch Satellite Postponed

First Vega rocket assembled on launch pad

U.K. study: Mars surface too dry for life

Radio Doppler Tracking Continues at Cape York

Russia May Repeat Mars-500 Simulation on Space Station

A dark spot on Mars - Syrtis Major

NASA Mission Returns First Video From Lunar Far Side

A Moon Colony by 2020

U.S. Presidential Hopeful Promises Moon Base by 2020

Moon looms bright over Republican debate

New Horizons Aims to Put Its Stamp on History

New Horizons Works through Winter Wakeup

The Rings of Pluto

Just A Three Year Cruise Left Before Pluto Flyby

Russia to Start Own Search for Extrasolar Planets

Planets Circling Around Twin Suns

New super-Earth detected within the habitable zone of a nearby star

Scientists help define structure of exoplanets

SpaceX Test Fires Engine Prototype for Astronaut Escape System

Armadillo rocket flys high

NASA's J-2X Engine Kicks Off 2012 With Powerpack Testing

ATK Completes Third Space Act Agreement Milestone for Liberty under NASA's Commercial Crew Program

China's satellite navigation sector annual output predicted to reach 35 bln USD in 2015

China plans to launch 21 rockets, 30 satellites this year

Shenzhou 9 Behind the Curtain

China Plans to Launch 30 Satellites in 2012

Vesta Science Program Continues At Low-altitude Mapping Orbit

Bus-sized asteroid shaves by Earth

Rice lab mimics Jupiter's Trojan asteroids inside a single atom

Vesta Likely Cold and Dark Enough for Ice


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - 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