Capella Space launched its fourth synthetic aperture radar satellite June 29 with a Maxwell electric thruster manufactured by propulsion startup Phase Four.
Phase Four announced June 16 two new electric propulsion systems that offer performance and other improvements, along with a subscription service that offers those thrusters to customers at a discount.
Phase Four, a startup working on electric propulsion for satellites, has won an Air Force contract to test using an alternative propellant for its thrusters.
Electric propulsion company Phase Four flew its first plasma thrusters on two spacecraft that were part of a SpaceX dedicated rideshare launch Jan. 24.
“When Sequoia data come out, I want to wow people,” said Capella CEO Payam Banazadeh. “I want them to say, ‘I can’t believe that image came from a small satellite.’”
Phase Four, a startup developing electric propulsion systems for small satellites, has won its first major orders for those thrusters from two companies.
As concerns grow about orbital debris and the need for space traffic management, cubesats without propulsion have no means to maneuver to avoid collisions or deorbit at the end of their operational lives.
Phase Four, a company developing an advanced electric propulsion system for use on cubesats and larger spacecraft, announced sales of its thrusters to NASA and Astro Digital May 24.