The Propulsion Branch provides engineering expertise in spacecraft propulsion subsystem, design, analysis, fabrication, assembly, integration, test, and launch and post launch operations, including spacecraft propellant loading. The branch provides expertise in fluid systems in support of propulsion subsystem efforts, including test equipment and ground support equipment. It also provides engineering management, procurement technical support, performance evaluation, and anomaly assessment of flight projects for spacecraft propulsion subsystems and expendable launch vehicle propulsion systems. The branch conducts performance evaluation of sub-orbital class launch vehicle propulsion systems and provides chemical analyses and test in support of propulsion related efforts.
The branch defines next generation propulsion technology requirements and analyzes, develops, tests, and integrates advanced propulsion system technologies. This involves collaborating with GN&C customers and stakeholders to assure effective interchange of information and coordination of propulsion technology programs. The branch specifies, procures, and tests propulsion components to meet mission and/or advanced technology requirements. To that end, the branch operates the Propulsion Test Site to evaluate propulsion and fluid components, including providing precision cleaning of plumbing and providing residual gas analyses.
Branch Head: Rich Luquette
Associate Head: Caitlin Bacha
Associate Head: Mark Fiebig
Main Office: (301) 286-2219
The in-house propulsion system developers for Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (Front)) and Solar Dynamics Observatory (Back).