Latest News

Neosat Satellites to Use Snecma’s PPS5000 Plasma Thruster for Electric Propulsion

By Caleb Henry | January 21, 2016
      Snecma thruster PPS5000

      Snecma’s PPS5000 plasma thruster for electric propulsion. Photo: Snecma.

      [Via Satellite 01-21-2016] Prime contractors Thales Alenia Space and Airbus Defense and Space have jointly selected, along with the European Space Agency (ESA), Snecma‘s PPS5000 plasma thruster for their new-generation telecommunications satellite platforms now being developed through the Neosat program. ESA also authorized Thales Alenia Space and Airbus Defense and Space to start final contractual negotiations with Snecma.

      The Neosat program includes the delivery in the summer of 2017 of complete shipsets of plasma thrusters, along with design studies and testing, for the two prime contractors’ respective platforms: the Eurostar Neo from Airbus Defense and Space, and the Spacebus Neo from Thales Alenia Space. These two platforms will be optimized for all-electric propulsion both for orbit-raising after launch and for station-keeping. The total market will include more than 350 Snecma thrusters.

      The goal of the Neosat program is to develop and qualify a family of robust, modular platforms for telecom satellites, targeting a 30 percent reduction in satellite costs versus current models by 2020, while also winning 50 percent of the telecom satellite market from 2018 to 2030. ESA, and space agencies across Europe, notably the French space agency CNES, are supporting the program.