The “Neumann Drive” will be integrated as an in-orbit demonstration onboard a Space Inventor 6U EDISON Satellite arranged for launch in the latter half of 2024.
The EDISON Mission forms part of the European Space Agency’s Pioneer program, which provides a pathway for companies to trial their emerging satellite technologies.
Neumann has previously said its electric technology, called the Neumann Drive, is simpler than traditional chemical propulsion methods and allows for the potential for spacecraft to be effectively refuelled and deorbited easier.
This includes harnessing space debris for fuel.
“We are pleased to be working with Space Inventor, our first official European partner, and to be on board their high-performance satellite platform as part of the EDISON Mission,” Herve Astier, chief executive officer of Neumann Space, said.
“It is also our first mission under the European Space Agency umbrella. Our program of in-orbit demonstrations is growing in both size and breadth, with a broad range of Australian and international satellite manufacturers now collaborating with us to test and refine the Neumann Drive’s performance as we together seek to deliver better mobility in space.”
Neumann Space has additional in-orbit demonstrations scheduled between 2023 and 2024.
Karl Kaas, chief executive officer of Space Inventor, explained that he is excited to partner with a company that he expects will succeed.
“I am pretty excited that we will host Neumann Space’s propulsion system on our EDISON satellite. When I first met the Neumann team at the SmallSat conference in 2022, their choice of technology and deep technical knowledge convinced me that this company and its people would succeed — succeed in turning the science into a product and succeed in bringing the product to a market starving for a reliable thruster for small satellites,” Kaas explained.
In April, Neumann Space announced that it would collaborate with a US Space Force-funded project.
As part of the agreement, Colorado-based CisLunar acquired the Neumann Drive.
“Our company’s mission is to enable the sustainable economic development of space, and we are proud that our propulsion system will play a role in this project as it seeks to create the foundations for a new circular economy in space,” Astier said.
“The supply agreement with CisLunar Industries represents the first commercial sale and first export of the Neumann Drive and we are confident that this milestone marks the beginning of an accelerated role for our company in providing off-the-shelf, safe, and easy-to-integrate electric propulsion systems to improve mobility in space.”
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