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Advancement of a 30K W Solar Electric Propulsion System Capability for NASA Human and Robotic Exploration MissionsSolar Electric Propulsion has evolved into a demonstrated operational capability performing station keeping for geosynchronous satellites, enabling challenging deep-space science missions, and assisting in the transfer of satellites from an elliptical orbit Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) to a Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO). Advancing higher power SEP systems will enable numerous future applications for human, robotic, and commercial missions. These missions are enabled by either the increased performance of the SEP system or by the cost reductions when compared to conventional chemical propulsion systems. Higher power SEP systems that provide very high payload for robotic missions also trade favorably for the advancement of human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. Demonstrated reliable systems are required for human space flight and due to their successful present day widespread use and inherent high reliability, SEP systems have progressively become a viable entrant into these future human exploration architectures. NASA studies have identified a 30 kW-class SEP capability as the next appropriate evolutionary step, applicable to wide range of both human and robotic missions. This paper describes the planning options, mission applications, and technology investments for representative 30kW-class SEP mission concepts under consideration by NASA
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Smith, Bryan K.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Nazario, Margaret L.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Manzella, David H.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 27, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 2012
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
63rd International Astronautical Congress(Naples)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 736466.
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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