Manufacturing of Bradford’s Comet now moves to Luxembourg

Manufacturing of Bradford’s Comet now moves to Luxembourg

Bradford Space is renovating its Comet electrothermal propulsion technology and transferring manufacturing of the small satellite thrusters from the United States to Luxembourg.

Patrick van Put is the managing director at Bradford Space. He says Luxembourg ecology permits more encouraging financing of the venture of the following –

  • Improving the technology
  • Transferring the technology
  • Building a facility

Bradford Space is a New York-based firm with roots in Bradford Engineering B.V. of the Netherlands.

  • Bradford Space got access to the Comet propulsion technology after acquiring Deep Space Industries in 2019.
  • At that time, Bradford Space chose to close the San Jose, California, facility.
  • This is where the propulsion systems were built due to high costs.

Since then, Bradford Space has had a new home for Comet production in Luxembourg. This is where the company won the assistance of the Luxembourg Space Agency. Funding through LuxImpulse, national research, and development program.

With that funding, Bradford Space intends to set up a facility in Luxembourg in order to produce an updated version of the thrusters for the international market.

By moving production to Luxembourg, Bradford Space also benefits access to the European market,” says Patrick.

Bradford Space is revising Comet technology for the following –

  • Improving the design
  • To make it more robust with a better lifetime
  • Better performance

“We will get into the industrial development stage and be ready to produce flight systems from Luxembourg in 2023,” adds Patrick.

Hawkeye 360 is a Comet client. LeoStella, the Spaceflight Industries-Thales Alenia Space joint venture, also set up Comet thrusters on Blacksky Earth-observation satellites.

Based on initial victory in orbit, one client that Bradford Space does not have the authorization to name made an order of a set of four Comet propulsion units says, Patrick.

The launch of the first Comet thruster was in 2018. Twelve Comet thrusters are presently propelling satellites in orbit, adds Patrick van Put.

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