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Resurrected DSCOVR Propulsion System - Challenges and Lessons LearnedThe Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), formerly known as Triana, is a unique mission, not because of its objectives but because of how long it was in storage before launch. The Triana spacecraft was built in the late 90s and later renamed as DSCOVR, but the project was canceled before the spacecraft was launched. The nearly-complete spacecraft was put in controlled storage for 10 years, until the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provided funding for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to refurbish the spacecraft. On February 11, 2015, DSCOVR was launched on a Falcon 9 v1.1 from launch complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. This paper describes the DSCOVR propulsion system, which utilizes ten 4.5 N thrusters in blowdown mode to perform Midcourse Correction (MCC) maneuvers, Lissajous Orbit Insertion (LOI) at Lagrangian point L1, momentum unloading maneuvers, and station keeping delta-v maneuvers at L1. This paper also describes the testing that was performed, including susbsystem-level and spacecraft-level tests, to verify the propulsion system's integrity for flight. Finally, this paper concludes with a discussion of the challenges and lessons learned during this unique mission, including replacement of a bent thruster and installation of an auxiliary heater over existing propellant line heaters.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Varia, Apurva P. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Scroggins, Ashley R. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Date Acquired
December 11, 2015
Publication Date
July 27, 2015
Subject Category
Propellants and Fuels
Spacecraft Propulsion and Power
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Joint Propulsion and Energy 2015 Conference(Orlando, FL)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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