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Thales Alenia and Miprons develop water-powered propulsion system

Miprons’ first solution, ALEXIUS, is so tiny that it fits within nanosats and so powerful that it enables micro-minisats the speedy accomplishment of high thrust manouvres. Credit: Miprons

Edinburgh / Rome, 28th July 2022. – Space solutions company, Thales Alenia Space, the joint venture between Thales and Leonardo, has signed an agreement with Italian space propulsion startup, Miprons, to develop an innovative water propulsion system for satellites, Thales Alenia said.

The project will leverage Miprons’ proprietary technology, a miniaturized, high-thrust thruster using a green, cost-effective propellant: water. Through the chemical process of electrolysis, water is broken down into hydrogen and oxygen, and fed into the combustion chamber. Water being the only fuel would allow for faster maneuver times during orbit-raising, de-orbiting and collision avoidance. 

As the system is both compact and scalable, it can be used on all sizes of satellites, according to Thales Alenia. Miprons uses 3D printing for a number of components needed for the technology.

The high-efficiency thruster with reduced weight and volume will be purpose-designed for Thales Alenia’s satellites. The company will lead the development of the thruster, expecting to achieve a reliable, high-performance satellite propulsion solution. The Italian branch of Thales Alenia will support the environmental testing of the model. 

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