Hot Gas TVC For Planetary Ascent Vehicle

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX10CD13P
Agency Tracking Number: 094221
Amount: $99,971.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: S3.08
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
3745A Studer, Casper, WY, 82604-1339
DUNS: 026732599
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John Wickman
 Principal Investigator
 (307) 265-5895
Business Contact
 John Wickman
Title: Business Official
Phone: (307) 265-5895
Research Institution
A Mars ascent vehicle (MAV) uses solid rocket motors to propel soil samples into orbit, but the motors cannot provide steering. Cold gas thrusters are used for initial steering and spin stabilization for the final stage of flight. This approach is heavy and results in a spinning sample container in orbit, which is difficult to recover. Wickman Spacecraft & Propulsion Company (WSPC) proposes innovative hot gas thrusters for steering that use the gases from the solid rocket combustion chambers. This approach reduces weight and provides a non-spinning orbiting container to increase mission success probability. WSPC is the only company with hot, metalized gas valve technology. The MAV valves must handle metalized gases at 5,600 F. Minuteman motor experience and WSPC tests indicate that thin layers of tungsten in discrete valve locations would work for this application. WSPC will create a layout of a MAV hot gas TVC system to ensure the weight is less than the baseline cold gas system. Valve materials will be tested with the MAV propellant to ensure the valve operates properly. Phase II will be the testing of the TVC system with the first stage MAV solid rocket motor to simulate a MAV ascent into orbit.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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