Electric engine deal for satellites

Electric engine deal for satellites

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

LeoStella, a joint venture from Thales Alenia Space (TAS), has signed a deal for electric propulsion systems for its low cost satellites.

Based in Seattle, LeoStella is a joint venture between TAS and BlackSky, a real time analytics firm, to design and manufacture satellites for large constellations of satellites. It will use multiple Astra Spacecraft Engines later this year and into 2023 for its satellites in volume production.

Astra’s Spacecraft Engine is a Xenon and Krypton electric propulsion system for spacecraft with less than 1 kW of power to assist satellites in achieving and maintaining target orbits and maneuverability and is expected to be integrated onto a variety of LeoStella’s satellites. Astra has a PPU (Power Processing Unit) that is radiation hardened by design, replacing many microprocessors with simple and reliable components and creating a single circuit board design that is 95% efficient.

“As demand for small satellites continues to grow, we are always looking for innovative options to provide highly efficient, reliable propulsion for our satellites,” said Tod Byquist, Director of Programs and Supply Chain at LeoStella. “Astra’s Spacecraft Engine has good flight heritage and the performance we need to get our satellites to space on schedule.”

“LeoStella is a pioneering force in constructing critical space infrastructure through a variety of satellite designs,” said Mike Cassidy, VP of Product Management at Astra. “Their vision to deploy reliable, cost-effective satellites aligns closely with Astra’s and demonstrates the innovative forces at work to expand and accelerate access to space.”;

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