Aerojet Rocketdyne has received a more than $6.5 million contract to mature a high-power electric propulsion system for NASA‘s advanced exploration systems division.
The company Aerojet Rocketdyne said Monday it will work with the University of Michigan, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Silicon Turnkey Solutions to develop a 100-kilowatt hall thruster system, components of a 100-kilowatt modular power processing unit and xenon feed system elements.
Julie Van Kleeck, vice president of advanced space and launch systems at Aerojet Rocketdyne, said the nested hall thruster system is intended to help transport astronauts to space at a shorter span of time.
PPUs work to produce power for the hall thruster out of the electrical power generated by a spacecraft’s solar arrays.
The contract contains a one-year base period of performance and two 12-month option periods.
Aerojet Rocketdyne will perform a 100-hour test of the system at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.