ISU - Summer 2024

ThrustMe pioneers with iodine propulsion in space

Paris, 21 January 2021. – The French space start-up ThrustMe has successfully tested the first iodine electric propulsion on a Chinese satellite in space, the company announced.

ThrustMe said it tested the first iodine-fueled electric propulsion system aboard the Spacety Beihangkongshi-1 satellite.

On 28 December 2020, the first iodine electric propulsion system to be launched into space was successfully fired, with a second successful test on 2 January 2021, the pioneering company said. Both test burns were performed by ThrustMe’s NPT30-I2-1U propulsion system onboard the Beihangkongshi -1 satellite.

“This world first in-orbit demonstration has the potential to transform the space industry”, ThrustMe said. “The space industry seeks new solutions to ensure economic and environmental space sustainability with the rise of satellite mega-constellations.”

ThrustMe sees the use of iodine as a propellant as a breakthrough for the satellite industry.

“It allows propulsion systems to be delivered completely prefilled to customers, and for the satellite integration process to be significantly simplified and streamlined. Therefore, iodine offers the potential to provide both economic, and environmental sustainability for the space industry.”

Check Also

COSPAR Kicks off 2024’s Scientific Assembly in Busan

COSPAR has kicked off the COSPAR 2024 Scientific Assembly in Busan, celebrating the theme "Team Spirit in Space Research." The assembly counted around 2800 participants from over 60 countries with attendees engaging with scientists, presenting over 3000 talks and posters, and participating in 150 scientific events. The Assembly brought space leaders from KASA, NASA, CNSA, ISRO, JAXA, ASI, and the UAE together, with the roundtable of Space Agency leaders featuring the next decade of space science programs from each agency. Also, space sustainability emerged as a major recurring theme.