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Kuiper Belt Object Orbiter Using Advanced Radioisotope Power Sources and Electric PropulsionA joint NASA GRC/JPL design study was performed for the NASA Radioisotope Power Systems Office to explore the use of radioisotope electric propulsion for flagship class missions. The Kuiper Belt Object Orbiter is a flagship class mission concept projected for launch in the 2030 timeframe. Due to the large size of a flagship class science mission larger radioisotope power system building blocks were conceptualized to provide the roughly 4 kW of power needed by the NEXT ion propulsion system and the spacecraft. Using REP the spacecraft is able to rendezvous with and orbit a Kuiper Belt object in 16 years using either eleven (no spare) 420 W advanced RTGs or nine (with a spare) 550 W advanced Stirling Radioisotope systems. The design study evaluated integrating either system and estimated impacts on cost as well as required General Purpose Heat Source requirements.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Oleson, Steven R.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
McGuire, Melissa L.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Dankanich, John
(Gray Research, Inc. Cleveland, OH, United States)
Colozza, Anthony
(Analex Corp. Cleveland, OH, United States)
Schmitz, Paul
(Power Computing Solutions, Inc. Cleveland, OH, United States)
Khan, Omair
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Drexler, Jon
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Fittje, James
(Analex Corp. Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
February 10, 2011
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space 2011
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Start Date: February 7, 2011
End Date: February 10, 2011
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 346620.01.03.01
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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