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The propulsion subsystem features sets of two kinds of small thrusters. The larger are used to make major trajectory correction maneuvers, and the smaller to continually maintain the spacecraft in its orbit.

Firing the thrusters changes the spacecraft's orientation. Two clusters of four small hydrazine thrusters each are mounted on the spacecraft, providing 0.88 newtons (0.2 pounds) of thrust each for small maneuvers to keep the spacecraft in orbit and to increase or reduce the rotation rate. Four more thrusters are also mounted on the spacecraft, each providing 22.2 newtons (5 pounds of thrust) for major trajectory correction maneuvers. These thrusters are only used when the sample return capsule's lid is closed in order to avoid contaminating the solar samples.

In addition to miscellaneous tubing, latch valves and filters, the propulsion subsystem also includes two 55-centimeter-diameter (22-inch) fuel tanks, each containing hydrazine, pressurized with gaseous helium. The outlets of tanks are metered together and will draw together equally.

The propulsion subsystem weighs 36.6 kilograms (80.7 pounds). button
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Curator: Aimee Meyer
Updated: November 2009

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