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Electric/Mercury
Electric/Mercury propellant. The many versions of electric engines use electric or magnetic fields to accelerate ionized elements to high velocity, creating thrust. The power source can be a nuclear reactor or thermal-electric generator, or solar panels. Mercury was used in several early electric engines tested in space, but Xenon was preferred and used in later applications.

Fuel Density: 13.5 g/cc. Fuel Freezing Point: -39 deg C. Fuel Boiling Point: 357 deg C.



Subtopics

IAPS Hughes electric/mercury rocket engine. Ion Auxiliary Propulsion System work took place in the 1974-1983. Flight ready article prepared, but not flown due to budget cuts.

Ion Electric/Mercury propellant rocket stage. 1981 conceptual design of ion upper stage sized for use in the shuttle. It was nuclear-electric and intended for trans-Jovian planetary missions.

SEPS Hughes, TRW, NASA Cleveland electric/mercury rocket engine. 128 mN Solar Electric Propulsion Stage program, started in the early 1970s, a goal to provide a primary ion propulsion system operating at a fixed power for Earth orbital applications.

SEPST JPL, Hughes, TRW electric/mercury rocket engine. The Solar Electric Propulsion System Technology program of 1960-1980 demonstrated a complete breadboard ion propulsion system that would be applicable to an interplanetary spacecraft.

Sert II NASA Cleveland electric/mercury rocket engine. Flown in 1970. The thruster for the Sert-II test consisted of two electron bombardment engines using mercury propellant.

Sert-I Mercury NASA Cleveland electric/mercury rocket engine. Developed 1962-1964. 10 cm diameter mercury electron bombardment ion engine used on the first successful flight test of ion propulsion on a Scout X-4 launch vehicle.

SIT- 5 Hughes electric/mercury rocket engine. 5 cm diameter mercury ion engine, developed 1970 for attitude control and north-south stationkeeping of geosynchronous satellites.

Engines: Sert-I Mercury, SEPST, SIT- 5, SEPS, IAPS, Sert II. Stages: Ion.

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