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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Oxygen-Methane Thruster, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Oxygen-Methane Thruster, Phase II
Two main innovations will be developed in the Phase II effort that are fundamentally associated with our gaseous oxygen/gaseous methane RCS thruster. The first innovation is that of an integrated torch igniter/injector which, provides simple and reliable ignition for the thruster. The second innovation is the thruster's capability to operate with both gaseous and liquid propellants. This innovation enables greater system flexibility that is inherent in the capacity to function over a much wider range of operating conditions. Orion has been approached by several prospective customers concerning affordable, reusable thrusters. In the current commercial market, this does not exist and the commercial sector cannot afford traditional propulsion solutions. For this reason, Orion started developing a thruster that offers the following features: Provides an affordable solution as compared to what is currently available Uses a different manned approach since it is reusable Uses a modular design, which allows for the robust inspection and replacement of parts Uses green propellants and capitalizes on in situ propellant production Provides greater system flexibility since it operates with both liquid and gaseous propellants Not only does the gas/gas operation of the thruster attract companies such as t/Space and Bigleow Aerospace, but its liquid/liquid operation broadens this customer base and makes this design applicable to NASA programs such as the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV). More »

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.