Record Details

Propellantless Propulsion Technologies for In-Space Transportation
Author and Affiliation:
Johnson, Les(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL United States);
Cook, Stephen [Technical Monitor]
Abstract: In order to implement the ambitious science and exploration missions planned over the next several decades, improvements in in-space transportation and propulsion technologies must be achieved. For robotic exploration and science missions, increased efficiencies of future propulsion systems are critical to reduce overall life-cycle costs. Future missions will require 2 to 3 times more total change in velocity over their mission lives than the NASA Solar Electric Technology Application Readiness (NSTAR) demonstration on the Deep Space 1 mission. Rendezvous and return missions will require similar investments in in-space propulsion systems. New opportunities to explore beyond the outer planets and to the stars will require unparalleled technology advancement and innovation. The Advanced Space Transportation Program (ASTP) is investing in technologies to achieve a factor of 10 reduction in the cost of Earth orbital transportation and a factor of 2 or 3 reduction in propulsion system mass and travel time for planetary missions within the next 15 years. Since more than 70% of projected launches over the next 10 years will require propulsion systems capable of attaining destinations beyond Low Earth Orbit, investment in in-space technologies will benefit a large percentage of future missions. Some of the most promising technologies for achieving these goals use the environment of space itself for energy and propulsion and are generically called, "propellantless" because they do not require on-board fuel to achieve thrust. An overview of the state-of-the-art in propellantless propulsion technologies such as solar and plasma sails, electrodynamic and momentum transfer tethers, and aeroassist and aerocapture will be described. Results of recent earth-based technology demonstrations and space tests will also be discussed.
Publication Date: Jan 01, 2001
Document ID:
20020022193
(Acquired Feb 22, 2002)
Subject Category: SPACE TRANSPORTATION AND SAFETY
Document Type: Preprint
Meeting Information: 52nd IAF Conference; 1-5 Oct. 2001; Toulouse; France
Meeting Sponsor: International Astronautical Federation; Unknown
Contract/Grant/Task Num: RTOP 732-50-10
Financial Sponsor: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; Huntsville, AL United States
Organization Source: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; Huntsville, AL United States
Description: 1p; In English
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: No Copyright
NASA Terms: SPACE TRANSPORTATION; TECHNOLOGY UTILIZATION; SOLAR ELECTRIC PROPULSION; ION PROPULSION; PROPULSION SYSTEM PERFORMANCE; COSTS; DEEP SPACE 1 MISSION; LOW EARTH ORBITS; TETHERLINES; ION ENGINES; AEROASSIST
Availability Source: Other Sources
Availability Notes: Abstract Only
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