Encyclopedia Astronautica
XIPS-25 1.3 kW


Hughes electric/xenon rocket engine. 63 mN. Isp=2800s. XIPS-25 program, conducted by Hughes, developed thrusters, BBPPUs, and a feed system pressure regulator for stationkeeping of 2500 kg class communication satellites.

The XIPS-25 program, conducted by Hughes Research Laboratories, developed thrusters, BBPPUs, and a feed system pressure regulator for possible stationkeeping of 2500 kg class communication satellites. The 25 cm diameter, 3-grid, xenon ion engine input power was 1.3 kW with a thrust level of 63 mN and a specific impulse of 2800 s. Three thruster types were developed: a laboratory-type, an advanced development model, and an engineering model. Performance tests indicated that the later models inherited virtually identical performance. A BBPPU with greatly reduced parts count, over SEPS designs, was built and tested. Overall PPU efficiency was 90%, and the flight packaged specific mass was estimated to be 8 kg/kW. A 15 month wear test was conducted using the laboratory model thruster, a BBPPU, and a flight-type regulator. The hardware successfully completed 4,350 hours of testing and 3850 cycles, which was equivalent to about 10 years of stationkeeping operations. The Hughes Space and Communications Company subsequently pursued development of XIPS-13 (0.44 kW) and XIPS-25 (4.2 kW) systems, instead of the 1.3 kW XIPS-25 system, for NSSK and orbit insertion applications.

Electrical Input Power: 1.30 kW.

Thrust: 0.0630 N (0.0140 lbf).
Specific impulse: 2,800 s.
First Launch: 1985-1988.

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Associated Countries
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Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Hughes American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Hughes Aircraft Co. , USA More...

Associated Propellants
  • Electric/Xenon The many versions of electric engines use electric or magnetic fields to accelerate ionized elements to high velocity, creating thrust. The power source can be a nuclear reactor or thermal-electric generator, or solar panels. Proposed as propellant for some ion motors. More...

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