ESA developing solar-electric driven satellites

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - 19:39

Washington: ESA is set to develop a new generation of satellites propelled by solar electric thrusters, following the signing of a contract with SES of Luxembourg for the next phase of the Electra project.

Electra is a partnership between ESA and satellite operator SES to define, develop and validate in space an electric-only propulsion platform for geostationary telecommunication satellites of around 3 tonnes launch mass.

The first launch is expected by the end of 2018.

Electra is the first partnership project established under ESA`s ARTES-33 programme, which supports market-driven innovations from industry that require flight heritage and in-orbit validation - proof that they work in space - so that they are more readily embraced by the marketplace.

ARTES-33 requires a partnership between a manufacturer and a user of the innovative capabilities and demands that innovation is validated in a commercially representative environment.

Through Electra, Europe`s new capability will serve the current and future needs of satellite operators in the geostationary segment for smaller satellites.


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First Published: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - 19:39

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