Solid Rocket Motor for Ultralow Temperature Operation During the Mars Sample Return Mission

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$124,868.00
Award Year:
2013
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNX13CM23P
Award Id:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
125385
Solicitation Year:
2012
Solicitation Topic Code:
S4.03
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
AL, Huntsville, AL, 35806-3200
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
Y
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
839422763
Principal Investigator:
RobertAskins
Principal Investigator
(256) 714-9771
reaskins@aol.com
Business Contact:
SandraFossett
Business Official
(256) 562-2165
Sandra.Fossett@asi-hsv.com
Research Institute:
Stub




Abstract
A small Mars (or other celestial body) ascent vehicle is unlikely to achieve the necessary propellant fraction required to achieve orbit. Scaling down of liquid propulsion systems, as shown in the figure, is difficult. In the 100-kg class of vehicles, liquid propellant vehicle designers should expect a propellant fraction of only 0.75. In contrast, solid rocket motors (SRM) scale down much easier, so designers should expect a propellant fraction of at least 0.92. To be practical, however, the SRM must operate in extreme low temperature environments, which is difficult for state of the art polybutadiene binders. ASI proposes to develop a new, low temperature binder based upon siloxane. Siloxane polymers have glass transition temperatures below 150K, making them ideal for use on Mars with little or no external heaters required. A siloxane binder SRM-based MAV will easily achieve the propellant fraction needed for a sample return mission.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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