Solar-electric Advancing For Deep-space Propulsion

By Frank Morring .
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology .

Working in the background, a relatively small group of U.S. spaceflight engineers has been figuring out just what it will take to get humans out of low Earth orbit to Mars, with stops along the way in cislunar space and perhaps on near-Earth asteroids. Spearheaded by William Gerstenmaier, associate NASA administrator for human exploration and operations, and managed in part by John Shannon, the last space shuttle program manager, the team is developing mission architectures that will guide the elected and appointed politicians who must fund and manage mankind's next steps into the Solar System. With budgets tight for the foreseeable future, a lot of attention is going into affordable technology ...

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