Bradford Space welcomes NSS to its facilities in Heerle, the Netherlands
Press Release From: Bradford Space
Posted: Monday August 23 2021
Bradford Space (Bradford) and Neutron Star Systems (NSS) have entered into a cooperation agreement for improved orbital transport and maneuver technology for cis-lunar logistics. The agreement lays the groundwork for increasing the total propulsion capacity of Bradfords recently announced space logistics service by incorporating NSS electric propulsion technology with Bradford’s green monopropellant technology.
The Bradford / NSS cooperation was fostered by a recent meeting at the Catalyst Accelerators Catalyst Collision event of the United States Space Force Catalyst Accelerators and the Air Force Research Laboratory. The cooperation is based on Bradford’s leadership in non-toxic propulsion systems and the high propulsion flexibility of NSS’s SUPREMETM electric thruster. With growing concerns about the safety and cost of the traditional hydrazine-based propellant, the adoption of new green propellants will be essential to enable safer and more sustainable space logistics. Bradford is the world’s leading supplier of high-thrust green propulsion systems with 25 spacecraft piloting the exclusive Bradfords LMP-103S green monopropellant.
“We appreciate the Space Forces facilitating our meeting at the Catalyst Accelerator. The addition of an NSS propulsion system running on LMP-103S enables hybrid chemical and electric missions with greater maneuverability than existing systems, said Ian Fichtenbaum, CEO of Bradford Space.
The cooperation with Bradford is a big step forward following NSS’s participation in the OSAM (In-Orbit Maintenance, Assembly and Manufacturing) cohort of Catalyst accelerators. We have the strong determination to revolutionize the market and make it more sustainable, and we couldn’t have asked for a better partner than Bradford Space to achieve this goal, said Manuel La Rosa Betancourt, CEO of NSS.
NSS SUPREMETM is an Applied Field Magnetoplasmadynamic Thruster (AF-MPD) that harnesses industrially mature High Temperature Superconductors (HTS) to create the magnetic fields to create a dense high temperature plasma and generate thrust through electrostatic fields and magnetic crosses. The result is a low thrust, fuel efficient thruster that complements Bradford’s existing high thrust chemical thrusters. The use of a compact and lightweight HTS allows immense scalability over a wide range of power classes. The use of a common green monopropellant allows the flexibility to select the ideal propulsion technology for each maneuver after launch. In addition, the use of a common propellant storage and delivery system reduces the mass of the spacecraft compared to separate chemical and electrical systems. Hybrid chemical and electric propulsion from a common thruster maximizes the value creation potential of a spacecraft.
The collaboration with NSS provides a unique extension of our unprecedented non-toxic propulsion offering, particularly for higher horsepower and with a greater emphasis on the capabilities of our proprietary HPGP technology, said Patrick van Put, Managing Director of European operations at Bradford Space.
Hybrid chemical-electric propulsion systems operating with shared propellants offer unparalleled maneuverability in a simple and lightweight form. By working with Bradford Space, we hope to capitalize on the immense potential offered by this concept, said Marcus Collier-Wright, CTO of NSS.
Bradford recently announced its space logistics service to deliver payloads from a landing facility on Earth to any destination between Earth and the Moon. To support the service, Bradford is designing a new spacecraft called Square Rocket, which is an Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV), or space tugboat. Square Rockets’ green propulsion and innovations in development and manufacturing result in a low-cost, reproducible spacecraft with the flexibility to support a wide range of cis-lunar logistics missions.
We are developing low cost, high maneuverability space tugs and cooperation with NSS has the potential to expand our range of capabilities, allowing us to deliver increased value to our customers, said Christian Carpenter, Head of Production and advanced systems from Bradfords.
As part of our efforts to improve standardization and enable economies of scale in the space industry, we are delighted to be working with Bradford Space. Their experience and heritage in mass producing space components aligns strongly with our goals, said Freddy Torres, COO of NSS.
Bradford Space is a high-tech developer and manufacturer who has been innovating in the space industry for more than three decades. Bradford has over 35 years of experience developing and manufacturing state-of-the-art in-orbit systems and components. Based in New York and with operations in the Netherlands, Sweden, Luxembourg and Seattle, Bradford builds high performance spacecraft propulsion systems, avionics, orbit control systems, airspace working in microgravity and providing space logistics services for missions beyond LEO.
Neutron Star Systems is a new space start-up based in Cologne, Germany, specializing in the development of superconductor-based spacecraft systems. NSS’s core product is an electric propulsion system combining high temperature superconductors and applied field magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters, providing greater scalability, efficiency and operational flexibility, and enabling more powerful and efficient spacecraft while reducing costs up to billions of dollars. Along with the German headquarters, NSS manages operations in London, UK, and Colorado Springs, USA.
FOR RELEASE August 23
250 Park Ave, 7th Floor
New York, New York 10177
Manuel La Rosa Bétancourt
NeutronStar Systems UG
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