Encyclopedia Astronautica
Electric/Cesium


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.

Cesium propellant ionized and electrically accelerated to produce thrust.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Spacecraft
  • Stuhlinger Mars 1957 American manned Mars expedition. Study 1957. In 1954 Ernst Stuhlinger conceived the first Mars expedition using solar-electric propulsion. More...
  • Stuhlinger Mars 1962 American manned Mars expedition. By 1962 Ernst Stuhlinger's ion-drive Mars expedition had evolved within the Research Projects Division into five 150 m long spacecraft, housing a total crew of 15. A much shorter 475 day mission time was planned. More...

Associated Engines
  • ATS 5 cm EOS electric/cesium rocket engine. 0.089 mN. Flown in 1968-1969. Isp=6700s. Thruster for the ATS-4 and ATS-5 tests; consisted of two contact ionization engines using cesium propellant. More...
  • ATS 8 cm EOS electric/cesium rocket engine. 4.5 mN. Flown in 1974. Isp=6700s.Thruster for the ATS-6 test; consisted of two electron bombardment engines using cesium propellant. The thruster anode diameter was 8 cm, and a cesiated tungsten neutralizer was used. More...
  • Program 661 EOS electric/cesium rocket engine. 8.9 mN. Flew 1962-1964. Isp=7400s. Cesium contact ion propulsion system used on three sub-orbital flight tests aboard Blue Scout Junior launch vehicles. More...
  • Sert-I Cesium Hughes electric/cesium rocket engine. 5.6 naN. In Development, 1962-1964. Isp=8050s. 8 cm diameter cesium contact ion engine was designed to operate at 0.6 kW. More...
  • Snapshot EOS electric/cesium rocket engine. 8.5 mN. In Development, 1962-1964. Isp=5100s. Launched on Blue Scout Junior launch vehicle on Snapshot test; a contact ionization engine; thruster anode diameter was 5 cm. More...

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use