Requirements for Space Propulsion Systems 680360

This paper explores some of the many considerations which enter into the choice of a specific spacecraft propulsion system for a particular application. The environment and its influence on propulsion requirements are discussed in general terms, characteristics of several propellant combinations are presented and an example of a typical ambitious mission is used.
A general conclusion is that the state of the art of spacecraft propulsion technology must advance on a broad front in the time period prior to project definition in order to provide the technological options which allow significant optimization of the complete project propulsion system.


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