Electric Spacecraft Propulsion Systems

Academic Level

2-year school


Conference Room E

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Apr 12th, 1:00 PM Apr 12th, 2:15 PM

Electric Spacecraft Propulsion Systems

Conference Room E

Spacecraft propulsion systems play a pivotal role in the modern Aerospace Industry as they are responsible for allowing craft to move and navigate and therefore operate as they are intended to. While chemical systems are more well known, electric propulsion systems stand as the next step in the journey to the stars and are seeing more widespread use on spacecraft than ever before. An exploration of the properties and inner workings of electric ion drives demonstrates how they operate at a greater efficiency than chemical rockets and therefore the most sustainable and economically feasible option for extra-atmospheric maneuvers. An exploration of non-ionic drives demonstrates how engineers and scientists are taking the next step to develop creative and resourceful new methods of propulsion, and that these methods are the future of spacecraft propulsion.

Keywords: Spacecraft, Engineering, Propulsion, Ion Drives, Non-Ionic Drives, Aerospace

Working Bibliography:

W.P. Wright, P. Ferrer. Electric Micropropulsion Systems. Progress in Aerospace Sciences, Volume 74 (April 2015), pp. 48-61

Vincent P. Chiravealle. Nuclear Electric Ion Propulsion for Three Deep Space Missions. Acta Astronautic, 62 (2008), pp.334-390

John Brophy. Advanced Ion Propulsion Systems for Affordable Deep-Space Missions. Acta Astronautica, 52 (2003), pp. 3090- 316

R. Joseph Cassidy, et al. Recent Advances in Nuclear Powered Electric Propulsion for Space Exploration. Volume 49, Issue 3, (March 2008), pp.412-435

Panfeng Huang, et al. A Review of Space Tether for On-Orbit Servicing. Progress in Aerospace Sciences, Available online: 7 March 2016, accessed: 10 March 2016

Young K. Bae. Prospective Photon Propulsion for Interstellar Flight. Physics Procedia, 38 (2012), pp. 253-279