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NASA Thruster Test Aids Future Robotics Landers' Ability to Land Safely
10.08.10
 
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., has successfully completed tests on two thrusters at NASA's White Sands Test Facility in Las Cruces, N.M., to aid in maneuvering and landing the next generation of robotic lunar landers that could be used to explore the moon's surface and other airless celestial bodies. The test program fully accomplished its objectives, including evaluation of combustion stability, engine efficiency, and the ability of the thruster to perform the mission profile and a long-duration, steady-state burn at full power. The test results will allow the Robotic Lander Project to move forward with robotic lander designs using advanced propulsion technology. 

HQ Contact: Dwayne Brown, 202-358-1726
MSFC Center Contact:  Kimberly D. Newton, 256-544-0034
www.nasa.gov


Monica Hammond
Lander Propulsion Task Manager

(:13)  The project is using these tests to access capability of existing qualified hardware, leveraged from the Missile Defense Agency, and apply that toward NASA spacecraft application.
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(:13) We performed 20 hot-fire tests in collaboration with Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne at White Sands Test Facility to support key design areas that the project indentified and prioritized over the past year.
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(:11) We were very pleased with the recent successful test of these lightweight thrusters and those results will be used for future design and development for propulsion systems for robotic landers.
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