[meteorite-list] NASA Issues Announcement For Solar Electric Propulsion Studies

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2011 13:01:12 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <201106172001.p5HK1C61002249_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>

June 17, 2011

J.D. Harrington/Michael Braukus
Headquarters, Washington
j.d.harrington at nasa.gov/michael.j.braukus at nasa.gov

Lori J. Rachul
Glenn Research Center, Cleveland
lori.j.rachul at nasa.gov

RELEASE: 11-191


CLEVELAND -- NASA issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) seeking
proposals for mission concept studies of a solar electric propulsion
system demonstration to test and validate key capabilities and
technologies for future exploration missions.

Multiple studies have shown the advantages of using solar electric
propulsion to efficiently transport heavy payloads from low Earth
orbit to higher orbits. This concept enables the delivery of payloads
to low Earth orbit via conventional chemical rockets. The use of
solar electric propulsion could then spiral payloads out to higher
energy orbits, including Lagrange point one, a potential assembly
point in space between Earth and the moon. This approach could
facilitate missions to near Earth asteroids and other destinations in
deep space.

Science missions could use solar electric propulsion to reach distant
regions of the solar system, and commercial missions could use solar
electric propulsion tugs to place, service, resupply, reposition and
salvage space assets. NASA's strategic roadmaps for exploration,
science and advanced technology all consider solar electric
propulsion a vital and necessary future capability.

NASA is examining potential mission concepts for a high-power solar
electric propulsion system demonstration. Flying a demonstration
mission on a representative trajectory through the Van Allen
radiation belts and operating in actual space environments could
reveal unknown systems-level and operational issues. Mission data
will lower the technical and cost risk associated with future solar
electric propulsion spacecraft. The flight demonstration mission
would test and validate key capabilities and technologies required
for future exploration elements such as a 300 kilowatt solar electric
transfer vehicle.

This Solar Electric Propulsion Demonstration Mission Concept Studies
announcement is open to all non-government United States
institutions, academia, industry and nonprofit organizations. NASA
anticipates making multiple firm-fixed-priced awards with a total
value up to $2 million. The deadline for submitting proposals is July

NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland is managing the broad agency
announcement for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate and
relevant technology activities for the Office of the Chief
Technologist. For more information about the announcement, visit:


For more information about NASA and exploration programs, visit:

Received on Fri 17 Jun 2011 04:01:12 PM PDT

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