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HALL THRUSTER HISTORY
Hall thruster research began independently in the United States and Russia in the 1960s. Electric propulsion efforts in the United States mainly focused on gridded ion thrusters until NASA started a Hall thruster program at the NASA Lewis Research Center (now Glenn Research Center) in the 1990s. Research began after mission analyses showed that Hall thrusters had near-optimal exhaust velocities and a favorable thrust-to-power ratio for near-Earth applications and would enable current and future missions. Research on performance, life, and other parameters of Hall thrusters began with the SPT–100 in 1993 and the D–55 TAL in 1994. Over 100 Hall thrusters have been used for propulsion in space.
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Last Updated: 8/23/06