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Advanced Space Propulsion

for Innovative Realization

of Space Exploration

An EU Horizon 2020 project that aims at developing a Space

High Power Electric Propulsion System of more than 20kW.

Future Space Exploration and Transportation challenges do all rely on an efficient and reliable propulsion system.
In-orbit satellite servicing and transferring (Tug) spacecrafts are a few examples of the several
architectures understudy to tackle the orbital debris problem and to enable more advanced robotic and eventually
manned interplanetary missions. Among all technological solutions being devised in the context of these
architectures, high-power electric propulsion systems play a fundamental role. In fact, considering the technology
maturity, operation flexibility and thrust-to-power ratio requirements of the exploration/transportation concepts,
high-power 20kW-class power Hall thrusters represent ideal solutions.

ASPIRE concentrates on one of the basic necessary technologies for having all the good above: high power electric propulsion.

Very-high-power thruster system

The ASPIRE project is structured to further mature a very-high-power 20kW Hall thruster system up to TRL 6

Reduced cost and duration

To set the grounds for the system qualification campaign at a remarkably reduced cost and duration, thus,
addressing the associated schedule, financial and technical risks


ESA’s overview of various in-orbit servicing mission scenarios []


Space endeavours forecast for 2030

 Rendering of Northrop Grumman’sMEV-1 spacecraft attached to a satellite for life extension. The actual docking with the Intelsat-901 telecom satellite occurred on Feb. 25, 2020. The spacecraft used four Hall thruster systems(Aerojet Rocketdyne’s 5kW-class XR-5).[@N. Koga,SpaceFlight Insider]

Electric Propulsion





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