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NSTAR
NASA Cleveland electric/xenon rocket engine. Solar Electric Propulsion Technology Application Readiness program developed this 2.3 kW ion engine as primary propulsion for the Deep Space 1 comet and asteroid rendezvous probe, flew 1998.

Thrust: 0.0920 N (0.0200 lbf). Specific impulse: 3,100 s.

The NASA Solar Electric Propulsion Technology Application Readiness (NSTAR) program developed a 2.3 kW ion engine for use as a primary propulsion engine for orbit transfer and intra-solar system trajectories. The NSTAR engine was the primary propulsion for the Deep Space 1 (DS-1) comet and asteroid rendezvous probe. In NSTAR, xenon ions were efficiently produced in a discharge chamber via collisions between neutral atom and energetic electrons generated by a hollow cathode in the discharge chamber. The ions were accelerated through two fine grids with roughly a 1300 V difference between them for 2.3 kW operation. The ion beam was neutralized by electrons emitted from a second hollow cathode external to the discharge assembly.

The NSTAR program provided a single string, primary ion propulsion system for the Deep Space I spacecraft. The 30 cm ion thruster operated over a 0.5 kW to 2.3 kW input power range providing thrust from 19 mN to 92 mN. The specific impulse ranged from 1900 s at 0.5 kW to 3100 s at 2.3 kW. The flight thruster and PPU design requirements were derived with .the aid of about 50 development tests and a series of wear-tests at NASA LeRC and JPL of 2000 hours, 1000 hours, and 8193 hours using engineering model thrusters. The flight-set masses for the thruster. PPU, and DCIU were 8.2 kg, 14.77 kg, and 2.51 kg, respectively. About 1.7 kg mass was added to the PPU top plate to satisfy the DSI micrometeoroid requirements. The power cable between the thruster and PPU was comprised of two segments which were connected at a field junction. The thruster cable mass was 0.95 kg, and the PPU cable mass was 0.77 kg. The xenon storage and feed system dry mass was about 20.5 kg. A total of 82 kg of xenon was loaded for the flight. Thrusters and PPUs were manufactured by Hughes, and the DCIU was built by Spectrum Astro, Inc. The feed system development was a collaborative effort between JPL and Moog.

Electrical Input Power: 2.30 kW.



Subtopics

NASA-457M NASA Cleveland electric/xenon rocket engine. 50 kW Hall thruster developed 2001-on.

HIVHAC NASA Cleveland electric/xenon rocket engine. HIVHAC offered mission benefits compared to the 4000s NEXT engine for deep space missions.

NASA-400M NASA Cleveland electric/krypton rocket engine. Developed to investigate high-power, high specific impulse Hall thruster operation in 2004.

NASA-173GT NASA Cleveland electric rocket engine. Two-Stage Hybrid Hall/Ion Thruster

NEXT UM-NASA electric/xenon rocket engine. NASA Evolutionary Xenon Thruster, 40 cm diameter ion engine, double the beam extraction area of the NSTAR engine. Developed 1998-2003.

Country: USA. Propellants: Electric/Xenon. Agency: NASA Cleveland.

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