has won a multi-year contract from NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate to design, build, test and deliver a 600kW Hall Thruster electric propulsion system to power future cargo transport vehicles to the Moon and Mars. The contract is valued at $32.4 million, including all options.
When the new system is delivered to NASA, Aerojet’s work will represent a 30-fold increase in total power and thrust delivered over current systems, which are approximately 18kW.
Aerojet says a further benefit of its Hall Thruster system is the ‘significant reduction of propellant mass’. The system will require approximately one-third the propellant of equivalent propulsion systems. Industry studies predict a vehicle mass savings of up to 30 metric tons.
The Aerojet-developed Hall Thruster provides roughly six times the fuel efficiency of today’s conventional chemical propulsion systems