Apollo Fusion, Inc. Lands NASA JPL License and Manufacturing Contract

A complete ACE thruster unit being tested. (Credit: Apollo Fusion)

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 7, 2019 — Today Apollo Fusion, Inc. is excited to announce it has been awarded an exclusive, worldwide commercial license to NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL) MaSMi (Magnetically Shielded Miniature) Hall thruster, the world’s first low-power (≤1.0 kW) magnetically shielded Hall thruster.

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Apollo Constellation Engine Breakthrough Saves $250K Per Satellite

A complete ACE thruster unit being tested at The Aerospace Corporation. (Credit: Apollo Constellation Engine)

MOUNTAIN View, Calif., December 14, 2017 (ACE PR) — Today we are excited to announce a major breakthrough with our new electric propulsion system, Apollo Constellation Engine (ACE). Apollo recently tested ACE in an independent lab at The Aerospace Corporation where thrust, Isp, and system efficiency measurements closely matched Apollo’s own lab tests. These results showed that ACE has 3x better impulse per kg and 3x better impulse per liter than competing thrusters on the market today. These advantages can result in a launch cost savings of $250,000+ for satellite manufacturers.

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NASA Glenn Tests Thruster Bound for Metal World

CLEVELAND (NASA PR) — As NASA looks to explore deeper into our solar system, one of the key areas of interest is studying worlds that can help researchers better understand our solar system and the universe around us. One of the next destinations in this knowledge-gathering campaign is a rare world located in the asteroid belt called Psyche.

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Aerojet Rocketdyne Awarded Contract to Mature High-Powered Nested Hall Thruster

Upgraded XR-5A Hall thruster (Credit: Aerojet Rocketdyne)
Upgraded XR-5A Hall thruster (Credit: Aerojet Rocketdyne)

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 15, 2016 (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) — Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), has been awarded a contract valued at more than $2.5 million from NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems Division to develop and demonstrate a high-power electric propulsion system. Once fully developed, the technology will help reduce trip times and the cost of human spaceflight to cislunar space and beyond to Mars.

Under the contract, the Aerojet Rocketdyne team will complete the development of a 100-kilowatt Hall Thruster System, including a 250-kilowatt thruster that uses Aerojet Rocketdyne’s patented multi-channel Nested Hall Thruster technology; critical elements of a 100-kilowatt modular Power Processing Unit (PPU); and elements of the modular xenon feed system. PPUs convert the electrical power generated by a spacecraft’s solar arrays into the power needed for the Hall Thruster. The contract includes system integration testing, and will culminate with a 100-hour test of the 100-kilowatt system at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

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NASA Space Technology Achievements in 2015

Credit: NASA
Credit: NASA

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) checked off a number of key accomplishments in 2015. These advancements pushed the technological envelope, not only for use near Earth, but also to support future deep-space exploration missions.

“In 2015 we have made significant progress with several of our larger technology demonstration initiatives,” explains Steve Jurczyk, NASA associate administrator for STMD.

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Upgraded XR-5 Thruster Successfully Tested on X-37 Space Plane

Upgraded XR-5A Hall thruster (Credit: Aerojet Rocketdyne)
Upgraded XR-5A Hall thruster (Credit: Aerojet Rocketdyne)

SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 1, 2015 – Aerojet Rocketdyne’s (NYSE:AJRD) improved XR-5 Hall Thruster (designated XR-5A) has successfully completed initial on-orbit validation testing on the unmanned X-37 space plane, which is presently on its fourth mission in space. The Air Force Research Laboratory, Space and Missile Systems Center, and Rapid Capabilities Office collaborated to host the XR-5A Hall Thruster experiment on Orbital Test Vehicle mission 4.

The XR-5A Hall Thruster is an enhanced version of the Aerojet Rocketdyne XR-5 Hall Thruster. Both thrusters are five kilowatt class Hall Thrusters; however, the XR-5A incorporates modifications that improve performance and operating range. Aerojet Rocketdyne has manufactured and delivered 16 XR-5 Hall Thrusters and flown 12 to date. As with most new product introductions, Aerojet Rocketdyne is introducing a product upgrade to incorporate improvements identified after the initial low-rate production and flight programs.

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