Space & Technology

May 23, 2018
 

Aerojet Rocketdyne successfully demonstrates low-cost, high thrust space engine

Hot-fire test of Aerojet Rocketdyne’s ISE-100 thruster conducted at the company’s Redmond, Wash., test facility

Aerojet Rocketdyne successfully completed hot-fire testing of a new in-space engine, designated ISE-100.

Developed for commercial in-space applications, ISE-100 has the potential to be a critical element for future lunar robotic missions.

Producing 100 pounds of thrust, the ISE engine has the capability to provide downward thrust during landing, easing spacecraft down to the lunar surface. ISE-100 is the latest in-space engine developed by Aerojet Rocketdyne, adding to our portfolio of mission-proven thrusters that have propelled spacecraft to every planet in the solar system and interstellar space, and provided landing propulsion for Mars and asteroid missions.

“As the nation sets its sights back on the Moon, Aerojet Rocketdyne stands ready to support commercial and NASA endeavors with reliable and affordable propulsion systems, like our new ISE-100 engine,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake.

Utilizing MON-25/MMH propellants, the ISE-100 is an affordable and dependable engine option for commercial operators to power spacecraft. MON-25 is a high performance storable oxidizer with a low freezing point that is particularly well suited to deep space environments. Another element of the low cost design approach is the engine’s additively manufactured Titanium injector, which completed the entire test series without anomaly.

During the test program, the engine successfully accumulated 75 individual tests, 774 pulses and more than 500 seconds of hot-fire time. Key tests performed in this program included multiple long duration steady state burns; multiple short pulse trains; and a long endurance duty cycle, representative of potential robotic lunar lander missions.

“We’ve developed and demonstrated an engine that is low cost, high performance and capable of landing payloads on the Moon,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Vice President of Advanced Space Programs Julie Van Kleeck.

The ISE-100 engine will now move from the development phase to the certification phase where it will undergo additional configuration testing with flight qualified materials.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
NASA photograph by Carla Thomas

NASA assists in efforts to contain California wildfires

NASA photograph Huge columns of smoke rise from California’s Mendocino Complex fire. The smoke that has risen and drifted now clouds the skies above the state. An effort by multiple NASA centers to assist with the California ...
 
 
Blue Origin photograph

NASA announces new partnerships to develop space exploration technologies

Blue Origin photograph Blue Origin is one of six companies selected for NASA’s Tipping Point solicitation. Pictured here, Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket lifted off July 18 carrying five NASA-supported technologies to flig...
 
 
Marine Corps photograph by Eddie Young

Navy satellite system receives green light for expanded operational use

Marine Corps photograph by Eddie Young Marines from the 1st Marine Division test out the Mobile User Objective System at a Field User Evaluation in Camp Pendleton, California. MUOS is a satellite communication system that uses ...