Aerojet to design propulsion system for cargo spacecraft
SACRAMENTO, Calif., 9 May 2005. Aerojet, a GenCorp Inc. company, announced today that it won a multi-year contract from NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate to design, build, test and deliver a 600kW Hall Thruster electric propulsion system to power future cargo transport vehicles to the Moon and mars.
SACRAMENTO, Calif., 9 May 2005. Aerojet, a GenCorp Inc. company, announced today that it won a multi-year contract from NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate to design, build, test and deliver a 600kW Hall Thruster electric propulsion system to power future cargo transport vehicles to the Moon and Mars.
The contract is valued at $32.4 million (including all options).
When the new system is delivered to NASA, Aerojet's work will represent a 30-fold increase in total power and thrust delivered over current state-of- the-art systems, which are approximately 18kW. An additional benefit of the Aerojet Hall Thruster system is the significant reduction of propellant mass. The system will require approximately one-third the propellant of equivalent propulsion systems. Industry studies predict a vehicle mass savings of up to 30 metric tons.
Aerojet is teamed with Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space, NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) and Colorado Power Electronics, Inc. on the program. Using NASA GRC's design for a 150kW Hall Thruster, Aerojet's system will include four thrusters, four power processors, a xenon propellant feed system and a thermal management subsystem. The program -- which consists of a 12- month first phase and 3-year second phase -- will culminate in a full-power integrated test.
"Aerojet is a world leader in the development of new electric and chemical propulsion technologies for space applications," said Aerojet President Michael Martin. "This contract win strengthens Aerojet's position as NASA's supplier of enabling propulsion technology and the propulsion provider of choice for the return to the Moon and further exploration of Mars."
Aerojet is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader principally serving the missile and space propulsion, and defense and armaments markets. GenCorp is a leading technology-based manufacturer of aerospace and defense products and systems with a real estate business segment that includes activities related to the development, sale and leasing of the Company's real estate assets. For more information, see www.aerojet.com or www.gencorp.com.