Cleveland – NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, has awarded a contract to Aerojet Rocketdyne Inc. of Redmond, Washington, to design, fabricate, and test two of NASA’s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster-Commercial (NEXT-C) thrusters and two power processing units for flight that will be available for use on one of the agency’s Discovery missions or other future mission.
The total value of the cost share contract is $18,410,242. The period of performance is five years from the date of the award.
In addition to the two flight units, Aerojet Rocketdyne, and major subcontractor ZIN Technologies Inc., of Middleburg Heights, Ohio, will design, fabricate, and test a prototype power processing unit to demonstrate technology and design maturity before proceeding to the production of the flight units. Work will be performed primarily at the contractor team’s facilities in Washington and Ohio.
The NEXT-C technology is an evolution of NSTAR ion propulsion technology developed by Glenn and employed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to propel the Dawn spacecraft to its current orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres. This contract will complete the transfer of key Glenn-developed NEXT-C technologies to industry for commercial availability.
The NEXT-C project is being led by Glenn under the Discovery Program managed by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C.