SAN FRANCISCO – Bradford Space is updating its Comet electrothermal propulsion technology and transferring production of the small satellite thrusters from the United States to Luxembourg.
“The Luxembourg ecosystem allows more supportive financing of the venture of improving the technology, transferring the technology and building a facility”
said Patrick van Put, Bradford Space managing director.
Bradford Space gained the Comet propulsion technology when it acquired Deep Space Industries in 2019. At the time, New York-based Bradford Space, a firm with roots in Bradford Engineering B.V. of the Netherlands, opted to close the San Jose, California, facility where the propulsion systems were manufactured due to high costs.
Since then, Bradford Space has found a new home for Comet manufacturing in Luxembourg, where the company won the support of the Luxembourg Space Agency and funding through LuxImpulse, a national research and development program.
With that funding, Bradford Space plans to establish a facility in Luxembourg to manufacture an updated version of the thrusters for the global market.
By moving manufacturing to Luxembourg, Bradford Space also gains access to the European market”
van Put told SpaceNews.
Van Put said that Bradford Space is updating Comet technology to improve the design and to make it more robust with a better lifetime and better performance. Once that work is completed the firm will conduct a design review of the new product before commencing manufacturing.
“We will get into the industrialization phase and be ready to deliver flight systems from Luxembourg in 2023”
van Put said.
Hawkeye 360 is Comet customer. LeoStella, the Spaceflight Industries-Thales Alenia Space joint venture, also installed Comet thrusters on Blacksky Earth-observation satellites.
While Bradford Space establishes its new facility in Luxembourg, the company is satisfying current orders for Comet thrusters by producing them in the Netherlands with the help of the Luxembourg team.
The first Comet thruster launched in 2018. Twelve Comet thrusters are currently propelling satellites in orbit.
About Bradford Space
Bradford Space is the most capable space company you’ve probably never heard of. We are a high-tech developer and manufacturer that has been innovating the space industry for over three decades. Bradford has over 35 years of experience developing and manufacturing state-of-the-art in-orbit systems and components. Today, this US-owned company with headquarters in New York City and operations in the Netherlands, Sweden, Luxembourg, and Seattle builds high-performance spacecraft propulsion systems, avionics, attitude orbit control systems, microgravity workspaces, and provides Logistics Services for missions beyond LEO.
Bradford is a world leader in non-toxic propellant systems and technology ranging from cold gas, water, ADN (Ammonium DiNitrimide), and electric propulsion. Bradford is a leading subsystem supplier to aerospace primes, space agencies and venture-backed space companies around the world with over 2000 products in space.
Commercial customers who have used Bradford products include Airbus, Astranis, Astroscale, Blue Canyon Technologies, HawkEye 360, LeoStella / Black Sky Global, Millennium Space, Moog, OHB, Planet, QinetiQ Space, Sierra Nevada Corp, SSL, Teledyne Brown Engineering, Thales Alenia Space, VACCO, and York Space Systems.
Bradford is also proud of the space agencies it has worked with over many years, in particular, ESA, NASA, the Netherlands Space Office, the Swedish National Space Agency and the Luxembourg Space Agency.
Courtesy of Bradford Space