solar electric propulsion
ExoTerra Resources won a NASA Small Business Innovation Research award to develop an upper stage to fit Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne.
For the last few years, NASA has promoted solar electric propulsion (SEP) as a key aspect of its long-term plans to send humans to Mars. NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) was going to demonstrate one such advanced SEP system, with several 12.5-kilowatt thrusters. But ARM is no more.