What is JANUS:

Joint AdvaNced PropUlsion InStitute (JANUS)

The NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate has selected the Joint Advanced Propulsion Institute (JANUS) to explore high power electric propulsion systems for human exploration. Mitchell Walker of the Georgia Institute of Technology will be the principal investigator and director. U-M Assistant Professor Benjamin Jorns will serve as co-director.

JANUS is a part of the NASA Space Technology Research Institutes (STRI)

The goal of the STRI is to strengthen NASA’s ties to the academic community through long-term, sustained investment in research and technology development critical to NASA’s future.

An STRI is intended to research and exploit cutting-edge advances in technology with the potential for revolutionary impact on future aerospace capabilities.


The vision of the Joint AdvaNced PropUlsion InStitute (JANUS) is to enable and proliferate the flight of high-power electric propulsion (EP) systems. Learn More

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Just as the Roman god Janus stood at the intersection of new beginnings, so will this Institute represent a crucial gateway for the transition of the next generation of propulsion technologies for space exploration from the laboratory to space.


This effort will deliver several new tools, strategies, and guidelines for evaluating existing infrastructure and designing new infrastructure for testing high-power EP. These include validated models for the response of HETs and GITs to the facility, new physics-based standards for testing and modeling that encapsulate best practices for mitigating and/or compensating for facility effects, and new standardized diagnostic techniques for characterizing the effects of the facility on thruster operation. We will collaborate with government and industry partners to incorporate our advancements into present and future research and development processes. Learn More