The NASA Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) project at Glenn Research Center aims to build an ion thruster about three times as powerful as the NSTAR used on Dawn and Deep Space 1 spacecraft. NEXT (ion thruster) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. That means it quite literally runs on air.

An ion thruster produces a flow of air even though it has no moving parts. A version of this seemingly impossible device is used on a larger scale to propel deep space probes for NASA. NEXT Ion Thruster Thermal Model Jonathan L. Van Noord1 NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio 44135 As the NEXT ion thruster progresses towards higher technology readiness, it is necessary to develop the tools that will support its implementation into flight programs.

Ion Thruster Sets World Record While the Dawn spacecraft is visiting the asteroids Vesta and Ceres, NASA Glenn has been developing the next generation of ion thrusters for future missions. NEXT (ion thruster): | | ||| | Image of NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ope... World Heritage Encyclopedia, the aggregation of the largest online encyclopedias available, and the most definitive collection ever assembled.
VSim simulations calculated a number of results for the NEXT ion thruster: plasma potential, plasma particle number density distributions, discharge currents, beam ion current, single-to-double ion ratio, ion wall flux, beam efficiency, and performance results. The calculated VSim performance results are in good agreement with experimental data. Ten times faster lithium ion thrusters will be tested at JPL within 6 months Brian Wang | September 25, 2018 | 50000 ISP lithium ion thrusters will be tested at JPL within 6 months.

Image of NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) operation in vacuum chamber. NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) Project has developed a 7-kilowatt ion thruster that can provide the capabilities needed in the future. The team has successfully tested an ion thruster that utilizes a method known as air-breathing electric propulsion (ABEP), or RAM electrical propulsion. The advantage to this system over others is that you need only an electrical source to power the device and it has no moving parts so it is almost unbreakable. Based on the analysis of the NEXT ion thruster, the first failure mode for operation above a specific impulse of 2000 s is expected to be the structural failure of the ion optics at 750 kg of propellant throughput, 1.7 times the qualification requirement. s; which is the highest total impulse ever demonstrated by an ion thruster.

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