NASA Solar


NASA has awarded a US$67 million contract to Aerojet Rocketdyne to develop an advanced Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) system.
The Advanced Electric Propulsion System (AEPS) contract seeks to design propulsion systems for the robotic portion of NASA’s missions to Mars and Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM).
“Through this contract, NASA will be developing advanced electric propulsion elements for initial spaceflight applications, which will pave the way for an advanced solar electric propulsion demonstration mission by the end of the decade,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD).
“Development of this technology will advance our future in-space transportation capability for a variety of NASA deep space human and robotic exploration missions, as well as private commercial space missions.”
NASA believes the new technology would be up to 10 times more efficient than chemical engines, and deliver twice as much thrust.
That makes it ideal for deep space missions, getting it to faraway locations cheaply and quickly.

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