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Space Electric Thruster System to demonstrate LEO spacecraft transport

ST-25 Hall-effect thruster; Credits: SETS

Paris, 28 December 2020. – Space Electric Thruster System (SETS), a Noosphere Ventures aerospace company, will undergo field testing in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) as part of the debut launch of the Firefly Aerospace Alpha rocket, which is scheduled for the beginning of 2021 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the company said.

“The goal of the first SETS mission is to demonstrate and confirm the space worthiness and performance of the system under real conditions, and receive the necessary telemetry,” commented SETS CEO Viktor Serbin.

The 200W SPS-25 propulsion system is a proprietary technology developed by SETS, and is composed of an ST-25 Hall-effect thruster (HET), modular Xenon Feed System (XFS), fuel tank, and Power Processing Unit (PPU). The  system is intended to transport spacecraft to their final orbit following payload separation.

“The SETS system was developed in order to increase the working duration of satellites and assist in safe deorbiting. This is incredibly important, as minimizing orbital debris in near-Earth space is a necessity for the continued development of space technologies,” said Noosphere Ventures founder Max Polyakov.

The Firefly Space Utility Vehicle (SUV) delivering the SETS payload will be capable of deploying multiple payloads per launch, utilizing up to 2kW of solar power. SUV hosted payloads will have access to up to 5kW of power on orbit. The SUV also expands Firefly Alpha mission scopes to include up to 500kg of payload delivery to low lunar orbit.

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