SteamJet’ TunaCan Thruster as a part of the “Above the Clouds” mission
Virgin Orbit announced the changes in the “Above the Clouds” mission where SteamJet Space Systems take part.
According to Virgin Orbit, the Spire CubeSat will be joined to the smallsats of the Space Test Program and SatRevolution on the next LauncherOne mission, which is going to be its fourth flight since the first launch in May 2020. The launch date of the “Above the Clouds” mission with a Virgin Orbit LauncherOne rocket is currently January 12, 2022 (UTC).
The mission “Above the Clouds” was announced in November. Back then, the participants were the Defense Department’s Space Test Program (STP) and SatRevolution, a Polish manufacturer of nanosatellite technologies. The satellite aimed to collect information about “micro” space debris in low Earth orbit with the help of a short-range radar provided by Spire. SatRevolution was going to test two projects: STORK-3 as an imaging satellite and SteamSat-2, based on SteamJet’ TunaCan Thruster, a compact resistojet with a unique water-powered propulsion technology, produced by SteamJet Space Systems. The TunaCan Thruster has been specifically designed for CubeSat platforms, keeping in mind all the limitations in terms of volume, power, and safety.
One of the major benefits of the SteamJet’ TunaCan Thruster system is the possibility to install it in the Tunacan volume, located outside the CubeSat structure. This is the only propulsion unit in the market that needs almost no volume inside the satellite. Moreover, the TunaCan Thruster is environmentally friendly, as water is the main propellant, provides a high thrust, and has a low power consumption. More technical information about the TunaCan Thruster can be found on our website.