AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 3 Space Missions: Planet Finding, Astrobiology and Others
Poster, Monday, January 5, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[3.17] Enabling Science Return through Advanced In Space Propulsion Technologies

L.C. Johnson (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center), J.R. Robinson (NASA Headquarters, Office of Space Science)

A vigorous and robust space science and exploration program will require a new generation of propulsion systems. NASA's In-Space Propulsion (ISP) Program is designed to develop advanced propulsion technologies that can enable or greatly enhance near and mid-term NASA science missions by significantly reducing associated cost, mass, and/or travel times over current stat-of-the-art technology. The ISP Program seeks to develop cost-effective propulsion technologies to support a broad range of mission possibilities that will enable NASA to send spacecraft on longer, more useful voyages, and in many cases, to destinations previously unreachable using conventional means. The most promising technologies are identified and prioritized by ISP mission and system analyses and subsequent peer reviews. In addition, optimum solutions for technology development are sought through open competition solicitations under several NASA Research Announcements (NRA's). NRA's have been released requesting industry, academia, and other organizations to propose propulsion technologies designed to improve capabilities for conducting investigations of the outer planets and beyond. Technologies currently being explored and developed by the ISP Program include: Next Generation Electric Propulsion, Aerocapture, Solar Sails, Momentum Exchange Tethers, and other technologies such as Advanced Chemical Propulsion. The ISP Program is managed by NASA Headquarters Office of Space Science and implemented by the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.