ENPULSION passes another important milestone: 200 propulsion systems in space


Vienna, Austria, March 11, 2024 – With the recent successful SpaceX Transporter-10 launch, and only one year after reaching 100 flight units in orbit, ENPULSION now has more than 200 propulsion systems in space. Austria based ENPULSION congratulates SpaceX to their successful launch, as well as many of its customers, including Blue Canyon Technologies, and MethaneSAT.
“Every Transporter mission is the result of the hard work of so many teams, so many companies and entities that it is also an opportunity to celebrate our industry’s spirit of cohesion. We want to thank everyone who made this and so many launches before a resounding success, all our partners and customers who work together with us on many game-changing missions and spacecraft such as MethaneSAT”, said Alexander Reissner, founder and CEO of ENPULSION. “With this launch, we passed another key milestone in our development in terms of numbers. But at the same time, it is only the beginning. Dependable in-orbit mobility is key to ensure the sustainable use of orbital resources and to enable innovative business models that are redefining the limits of what is possible in orbit.”

Lessons learned from 200 thrusters in space
Not only has ENPULSION successfully flown 200 propulsion systems, the company has flown them on a large variety of different use cases, ranging from constellation deployment, station keeping, and orbit raising, to orbit phasing and ground track improvement, formation flight, collision avoidance, drag compensation, small GEO demo missions, commercial BIU missions, VLEO missions, and several units in space are foreseen to perform de-orbit maneuvers once the first operational missions are over. Some thrusters have been delivered (but not yet launched) for Small-Sat exploration of the solar system.
As a result, ENPULSION has continuously increased its knowledge about Field Emission Electric Propulsion (FEEP) technology, and its safe and robust application in various environments and use cases. Implementation of experience and learnings gained, led to the development of a new generation of FEEP systems with the NANO R3 and MICRO R3 product families. This new generation of fully integrated propulsion systems is planned to be deployed in space in large numbers in 2024, pushing the state of the art in terms of robustness and reliability of in-space mobility.

New developments for milestones to come
Development of the ENPULSION NEO propulsion system marks the next big step for ENPULSION’s proprietary FEEP technology, as it will be the biggest and most powerful FEEP satellite propulsion system ever created – making the technology available also for bigger, up to ESPA and ESPA-Grande class spacecraft.

By stepping up the number of ion emission sites by an order of magnitude compared to previous electrospray thrusters, it allows high power and high thrust operation. The ENPULSION NEO propulsion system carries over the simplicity, ease of integration, and unmatched impulse density of ENPULSION’s products. Development and qualification of the ENPULSION NEO propulsion system is supported by the European Space Agency (ESA) through the ARTES program.
“For successful collision avoidance as well as to comply with the newest regulations, as for instance the 5-year deorbiting rule issued by the FCC, it is mandatory, that every spacecraft has its own means of active in-space mobility”, Alexander Reissner continues. “Our vision is to erase mobility as a constraining factor for all space-based infrastructure, thus enabling sustainable and innovative business models for a thriving near-earth economy for generations to come.”

With more than 200 propulsion systems in space, more than 300 propulsion systems delivered to customers worldwide, and more than 400 years of accumulated on-orbit operation, ENPULSION is a global reference of electric propulsion systems for nano- and microsatellites.
The company supports more than 40 customers on four continents, from its headquarters in Austria and offices in the US and France. Its products are based on the company’s proprietary Field-Emission Electric Propulsion (FEEP) technology, behind which are more than 30 years of research and development work in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the FOTEC Research Facility.

Media contact
Andreas Temmer

Header photo credit: SpaceX; Product phot credit: ENPULSION

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