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Aerojet Rocketdyne gets $2.5 million from NASA for Mars projects

Staff writer |
Aerojet Rocketdyne has been awarded a contract valued at more than $2.5 million from NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems Division to develop and demonstrate a high-power electric propulsion system.

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Once fully developed, the technology will help reduce trip times and the cost of human spaceflight to cislunar space and beyond to Mars.

Under the contract, the Aerojet Rocketdyne team will complete the development of a 100-kilowatt Hall Thruster System, including a 250-kilowatt thruster that uses Aerojet Rocketdyne's patented multi-channel Nested Hall Thruster technology; critical elements of a 100-kilowatt modular Power Processing Unit (PPU); and elements of the modular xenon feed system.

PPUs convert the electrical power generated by a spacecraft's solar arrays into the power needed for the Hall Thruster. The contract includes system integration testing, and will culminate with a 100-hour test of the 100-kilowatt system at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

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