World’s First Electrically Propelled Satellite Goes Online


A SpaceX Falcon9 rocket blasts off the launch pad on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, carrying the NOAA's Deep Space Climate Observatory spacecraft that will orbit between Earth and the sun, providing advanced warning of extreme emissions from the sun which can effect power grids and satellites close to earth. (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
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Boeing has announced the commissioning of the world’s first all-electric propulsion satellite and it is now fully operational. The aerospace giant brought it into orbit and then handed it over to the primary owner ABS, which is a communications company that operates in the Americas, Africa, Middle East and Europe. The good news is that the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the satellite encountered no problems during its launch and was able to deliver successfully.

The launch was done at Space X’s Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The all-new electrical propulsion is a Xenon ion-based system that could change the industry for years to come. Previously, Hybrid systems were used to do this, including chemical and ion propellants. It is only the first time that such a system has been deployed that relies entirely on an electric drive.

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Boeing claims that the new technology is the result of a 210,000-hour long experience of ion propulsion flight, and it is ten times more efficient than conventional liquid fueled rockets. This satellite uses four Xenon thrusters and only consume 5 Kgs of fuel per year. Space technology is very expensive and with this cheaper alternative, the launch costs will be further reduced. Boeing will continue to provide these latest technological advancements to its customers operating in the telecommunications industry. Another major advancement for a satellite of this kind is that it can share launch costs, and thus satellite owner can get their tech in orbit at much lesser costs than previously possible.

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World’s First Electrically Propelled Satellite Goes Online

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