News | 14.07.2015
Space Systems/Loral (SSL) awarded a production order for several Hall Effect Thrusters from Snecma (Safran). This selection makes the European company Snecma a supplier for electric propulsion of the world leader in telecom satellites.
Snecma’s contract with SSL comprises a firm order for several thruster flight sets between 2016 and 2018, as well as options on additional deliveries. It covers different models, which handle the partial orbital raising of a geostationary satellite into its definitive orbit, along with station keeping throughout its lifetime.
The use of electric propulsion provides a significant decrease of satellite launch mass compared with conventional chemical propulsion.
Other versions of this Hall Effect Thruster have been used by earlier missions or are still working: they propelled the European Space Agency’s Smart-1 lunar probe from Earth to Moon orbit between 2003 and 2006 and provide North-South station keeping on the Alphasat satellite, launched in July 2013.
Snecma is currently working on an electric propulsion system that will meet the requirements of all platforms for upcoming “all-electric” satellites.