30 Years of Electric Propulsion Flight Experience at Aerojet Rocketdyne


Product Description

Flight experience for Electric Propulsion (EP) supplied by Aerojet since the first launch of Aerojet’s Electrothermal Hydrazine Thruster in 1983 is reviewed. In total, over 210 spacecraft have flown one of four different EP technologies provided by Aerojet: resistojets, arcjet systems, a pulsed plasma thruster system, and Hall thruster systems. The flight systems include over 100 power processing units of seven different designs and over 500 individual thrusters, as well as propellant management hardware. The development history and basic characteristics of each flight system are reviewed. This survey discusses the application of Aerojet’s flight systems in the context of the historical use of electric propulsion flight programs worldwide. Roughly two-thirds of all currently operational spacecraft with EP are flying Aerojet electric propulsion. The usage of total spacecraft flying EP and user type by year is traced. Additionally, trends in the major characteristics of EP bearing spacecraft, such as orbit, mass and power, are discussed. Finally, future developments in electric propulsion at Aerojet and trends in electric propulsion in general are discussed.

Additional Information

Time of event

October 6 – 10, 2013

Сonference Title

33nd International Electric Propulsion Conference

Conference Venue

George Washington University in Washington, D.C., USA




Aerospace Engineering



Types of files



Cassady R.J., deGrys K., Hoskins W.A., King D.Q., Morgan O., Myers R.M., Wilson F.


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