- Associated Press - Thursday, April 2, 2015

CLEVELAND (AP) - NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland has awarded an $18 million contract to design and build two new thrusters that probably will be used on future Discovery missions.

A statement from the center says it awarded the contract to Aerojet Rocketdyne Inc. of Redmond, Washington. The company and its major subcontractor, ZIN Technologies Inc. of Middleburg Heights, Ohio, also will fabricate and test a prototype power processing unit before proceeding to the production of the flight units.

The thrusters, known as NEXT-C technology, are an evolution of ion propulsion technology developed by the Cleveland research center and used by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to propel the Dawn spacecraft to its current orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres.

The total value of the five-year contract is more than $18.4 million.

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