Phase Four, makers of radio frequency (RF) plasma engines for next generation space platforms, announced on 18 May 2020 that it has inked an agreement with Marubeni Corporation as an exclusive representative of its Maxwell line of satellite engines in Japan, one of the world’s fastest-growing space economies. Phase Four will also partner with Marubeni in strategic markets around the world to address the needs of next generation satellites.
Thousands of satellites are expected to be launched over the next decade. On orbit, the satellite operator must maintain station and avoid potential collisions for the duration of the mission and then safely de-orbit the spacecraft at the end of its mission. Historically, complex propulsion systems have prevented affordable access to space. Phase Four’s cost-effective, reliable in-space propulsion opens up a broad range of new mission possibilities with its inherent lower cost architecture and propellant agnosticism.
“Phase Four’s revolutionary RF plasma engines will unlock new space missions in support of commercial and government applications, including remote sensing, maritime tracking, high speed communications, space exploration and Internet-for-all,” said Tomomichi Inomoto, General Manager, Defense and Space Section, Marubeni Corporation. “We’re proud to be a partner.”
“2020 is gearing up to be a pivotal year for Phase Four. We’ve delivered the first flight units of our Maxwell engine this year, with additional deliveries to come,” said Beau Jarvis, CEO. “We’re simultaneously accelerating aggressive development of our next-generation engines. These include engines that run on inexpensive, high-performance fuels and engines that enable very low Earth orbit (VLEO) missions.”
“Phase Four’s engines are launching at a unique moment in history,” added CTO M. Umair Siddiqui. “We’ve been able to leverage recent advancements in RF power electronics, making our turn-key Maxwell engine the most compact plasma engine in its power class. Such engines couldn’t have existed in this form even five years ago.”