Here’s a short video that took a long time to put together. At about four months for the time-lapse portion alone, I was really excited to watch this facility transform into what it is today. VF-6 is our largest vacuum chamber facility that has been modified to test ion propulsion systems (if not the largest in the world to perform this particular task).
I’m constantly in awe of the amazing work being done here - this project is no exception. The future of long duration space flight (Not to mention a long and successful history ) is low-fuel, long range, electric ion thruster technology.
We are using our vacuum chamber to test the Hall Effect Rocket with Magnetic Shielding (HERMeS) thruster, which could propel NASA’s future vehicles to deep space. It operates at 12.5 kW; three times greater power than existing systems.
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Video credit: NASA/Rami Daud