A new satellite equipped with a ThrustMe engine in orbit
A new satellite equipped with a ThrustMe engine in orbit

A new satellite equipped with a ThrustMe engine in orbit

The Paris-based startup is equipping a small Canadian-Norwegian technology demonstrator that was placed in sun-synchronous orbit during SpaceX's Transporter 7 mission.

Serving the Norwegian Space Agency

On April 15, among the 51 payloads placed into sun-synchronous orbit by a Falcon 9 from SpaceX during the Transporter 7, in addition to the French BRO 9 cubesats from Unseenlabs and InspireSat 7 from Latmos, there was a small Canadian-Norwegian technology demonstrator, equipped with a French propulsion system : NorSat-TD (for Technology Demonstration).

NorSat-TD, mounted on a 35 kg platform, was developed for the Norwegian Space Agency (Norsk Romsenter) by Canada's SLF (Space Flight Laboratory), University of Toronto, Canada.


Cnes and EU support

The satellite is equipped with the NPT30-I2 propulsion system, developed and built by the Ile-de-France startup ThrustMe, a French manufacturer of electric motors founded in 2017 in Paris-Saclay, in the Essonne region, around cold iodinated gas propulsion systems for cubesats.

Last September, the company had announced a contract to build motors for seven Lemur (Low Earth Multi-Use Receiver) satellites from California-based Spire Global.

Funding for the system for the NorSat-TD mission was provided by Cnes, as the mission's institutional partner, while industrialization of the NPT30-I2 product portfolio is supported by the European Commission as part of the Embrace II project, funded by the European Union.


Growing trend

In an April 17 release, ThrustMe welcomes this latest success, commenting  " The fact that the Norwegian Space Agency's NorSat-TD technology demonstration mission was successfully launched with the NPT30-I2 iodine-electric propulsion system is a testament to the growing trend of embedding such systems on contemporary satellites. "

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