LeoStella buys Astra’s electric propulsion systems for satellites

An electrical propulsion system lights up its thruster with xenon propellant. (Astra / Apollo Fusion Photograph)

Astra House says it’s made a take care of Tukwila, Wash.-based LeoStella to supply a number of electrical propulsion methods for LeoStella’s small satellites, with deliveries attributable to start later this 12 months.

Monetary phrases of the contract weren’t disclosed.

LeoStella is a three way partnership between BlackSky and Thales Alenia House that builds satellites for BlackSky, Loft Orbital and different prospects at its Tukwila manufacturing facility. California-based Astra House’s principal enterprise line has to do with launching rockets, however final 12 months the corporate acquired Apollo Fusion, which makes electrical propulsion methods.

Electrical propulsion methods, also referred to as ion drives, can present a delicate however regular oomph for spacecraft by taking pictures out beams of ions. The Astra / Apollo Fusion methods could make use of xenon or krypton propellant.

For what it’s price, Apollo Fusion’s electrical propulsion system was beforehand chosen to be used on a model of the Sherpa house tug that’s made by Seattle-based Spaceflight Inc., one in all Astra’s business companions.

LeoStella plans to make use of Astra’s electrical propulsion methods on quite a lot of satellites.

“As demand for small satellites continues to develop, we’re at all times on the lookout for modern choices to supply extremely environment friendly, dependable propulsion for our satellites,” Tod Byquist, LeoStella’s director of applications and provide chain, stated in the present day in a information launch. “Astra’s Spacecraft Engine has good flight heritage and the efficiency we have to get our satellites to house on schedule.”

Mike Cassidy, Astra’s vice chairman of mission administration, referred to as LeoStella “a pioneering pressure in establishing important house infrastructure by way of quite a lot of satellite tv for pc designs.”

“Their imaginative and prescient to deploy dependable, cost-effective satellites aligns intently with Astra’s and demonstrates the modern forces at work to broaden and speed up entry to house,” Cassidy stated.

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