Thruster Advancement for Low-temperature Operation in Space (TALOS)

TALOS offers enhanced affordability through improved designs, modern materials, and advanced manufacturing processes, which lower thruster unit cost for missions and reduce propulsion system costs.

NASA is poised to return to the Moon and then farther out to deep space. These goals will require spacecraft propulsion systems that are high-performance, lightweight, and compact. Highly matured technology and low-cost, short development time of the propulsion system are also needed to support multiple lunar missions within a short timeframe.

The Thruster Advancement for Low-temperature operation in space (TALOS) thrusters are being developed to meet these low-cost, lightweight material needs. The overall goal of this game changing technology project is to qualify the TALOS thrusters for space flight on a lunar demonstration mission with the long-term goal of a reliable, commercial-off-the-shelf option for future science and exploration missions. The TALOS project will perform qualification tests representative of a planned Mission Duty Cycle (MDC) for an autonomous lander in a lunar demonstration mission.

Advancements in MON-25/MMH hypergolic bipropellant thrusters represent a promising avenue for addressing these deficiencies with tremendous mission enhancing bene- fits. TALOS is lighter and costs less than accessible thrusters in comparable thrust classes. Because MON-25 operates at lower temperatures, less power is needed for propellant conditioning for in-space propulsion applications, especially long duration and deep-space missions. TALOS offers enhanced affordability through improved designs, modern materials, and advanced manufacturing processes, which lower thruster unit cost for missions and reduce propulsion system costs.

Development hot-fire testing of two 150-lbf thrusters and two 10-lbf thrusters is scheduled to be completed in 2020. TALOS technology is key to the enhanced affordability of future science and space exploration missions. This technology is key to the enhanced affordability of science and exploration missions.

Principal Technologist Project Manager
Ron Litchford (ron.litchford@nasa.gov) Greg Barnet (gregory.l.barnett@nasa.gov)