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Through innovations in propellant management and chemical, electric and nuclear propulsion technology, we’re developing capabilities that are a critical part of NASA’s mission to take astronauts to a variety of deep-space destinations.


  • Propellants
  • Chemical propulsion
  • Electric propulsion (ion, Hall, plasma)
  • Nuclear propulsion
  • Cryogenic fluids (oxygen, methane, hydrogen) handling, characterization, storage, delivery, demonstration and flight packages

We are using our vacuum chamber to test the Hall Effect Rocket with Magnetic Shielding (HERMeS) thruster, which could propel NASA’s future vehicles to deep space. It operates at 12.5 kW; three times greater power than existing systems.
Credits: NASA, Rami Daud, Alcyon Technical Services

What we’re working on

Space Network Ground Segment Sustainment (SGSS)

Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN)

The office also provides spectrum management and analysis for the Agency, and supports the development of external partnerships and reimbursable opportunities to enhance and enable innovative new business in support of the GRC and Agency strategic plans. The 2017 SCaN|SBIR Optical Communication Workshop information Advanced Communications Systems consists of the following technology projects focused on … Continued

Solar Electric Propulsion

Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP)

As NASA seeks cost-effective access to destinations across the inner solar system, including cislunar space and Mars, it also seeks to shorten the cycle of time to develop and infuse transformative technologies that increase the nation’s capabilities in space, enable NASA’s future missions and support a variety of commercial spaceflight activities. NASA’s Solar Electric Propulsion … Continued

Artists rendering of the Universal Stage Adapter (Credit: Dynetics)

Universal Stage Adapter (USA)

NASA has selected Dynetics, Inc. of Huntsville, Alabama, to develop and build a universal stage adapter for the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. The adapter will connect NASA’s Orion spacecraft and provide additional cargo space for the future configurations of the rocket containing an exploration upper stage (EUS). Under the contract, Dynetics will design, … Continued

Artist's rendering of the European-built service module for NASA's Orion crew-transport vehicle.

European Service Module (ESM)

After the Space Launch System rocket gives Orion the push it needs to venture toward deep space and detaches from it, the service module will propel the uncrewed spacecraft on its mission 40,000 miles beyond the moon and help it return to Earth, detaching before the crew module reenters Earth’s atmosphere. For the first time, … Continued

International Space Station (ISS) Research

NASA’s experiments in the various disciplines of physical science, reveal how physical systems respond to the near absence of gravity. They also reveal how other forces that on Earth are small compared to gravity, can dominate system behavior in space. The International Space Station (ISS) is an orbiting laboratory that provides an ideal facility to … Continued

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