Experience of High-Power Electric Propulsion at S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation «Energia»


Ostrovski V. G.*, Smolentzev А. A.**, Sokolov B. A.**

Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation «Energia», 4а, Lenin str., Korolev, Moscow region, 141070, Russia

*e-mail: post@rsce.ru
**e-mail: post2@rsce.ru


Research and development of high power electric propulsion at the S.P. Korolev RSC Energia have more than semi centenary history. Main steps are the development of lithium-fed magnitoplasmodynamic thrusters are presented, which resulted in the creation of large engines (500 kW) with high specific characteristics and long life. 500-hour testing of such thruster and space experiment with its model are conducted. A newly developed radiation-cooled thruster with anode layer tested at TsNIIMASH with bismuth at the power of 34 kW demonstrated specific impulse of 5200 s and efficiency of 70 %. An alternative propellant (iodine) is proposed for high power engines with closed electron drift and testing of iodine SPT has been started.


electric propulsion; magnitoplasmodynamic thruster; thruster with closed electron drift; anode; cathode; specific impulse; efficiency


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