NASA’s Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, will host a Media Opportunity to showcase an ion thruster prototype on Wed., Jan. 25 at 10 a.m. EST. This prototype was built under NASA’s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) project. NEXT is developing an advanced ion propulsion system for use in robotic exploration of the solar system.

The NEXT thruster prototype, recently delivered to Glenn by Aerojet, Richmond, Wash., is being readied for performance acceptance tests in a vacuum chamber in Glenn’s Electric Propulsion Laboratory. Reaching the prototype phase of the project is an important milestone in proving the thruster’s readiness for use in future science missions.

Media interested in viewing the prototype and the vacuum facility chamber where it will be tested should contact Sallie Keith at 216-433-5795 by 9 a.m. Jan. 25 to arrange for entry onto the Center.

Glenn was selected to lead development of the NEXT ion propulsion system which also includes advanced power processing, xenon propellant management and thruster gimbal technologies.

The NEXT project is being conducted under the In-Space Propulsion Program managed by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington and implemented by the In-Space Propulsion Technology Project at the Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.