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Development and flight history of SERT 2 spacecraftA 25-year historical review of the Space Electric Rocket Test 2 (SERT 2) mission is presented. The Agena launch vehicle; the SERT 2 spacecraft; and mission-peculiar spacecraft hardware, including two ion thruster systems, are described. The 3 1/2-year development period, from 1966 to 1970, that was needed to design, fabricate, and qualify the ion thruster system and the supporting spacecraft components, is documented. Major testing of two ion thruster systems and related auxiliary experiments that were conducted in space after the 3 Feb. 1970, launch are reviewed. Extended ion thruster restarts from 1973 to 1981 are reported, in addition to cross-neutralization tests. Tests of a reflector erosion experiment were continued in 1989 to 1991. The continuing performance of spacecraft subsystems, including the solar arrays, over the 1970-1991 period is summarized. Finally, the knowledge of thruster-spacecraft interactions learned from SERT 2 is listed.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Kerslake, William R.
(Sverdrup Technology, Inc., Brook Park OH., United States)
Ignaczak, Louis R.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1992
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:105636
AIAA PAPER 92-3516
Meeting Information
Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit(Nashville, TN)
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 506-42-31
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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