Astra Space says it’s made a deal with Tukwila, Wash.-based LeoStella to provide multiple electric propulsion systems for LeoStella’s small satellites, with deliveries due to begin later this year.
Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.
LeoStella is a joint venture between BlackSky and Thales Alenia Space that builds satellites for BlackSky, Loft Orbital and other customers. California-based Astra Space’s main business line has to do with launching rockets, but last year the company acquired Apollo Fusion, which makes electric propulsion systems.
Electric propulsion systems, also known as ion drives, can provide a gentle but steady oomph for spacecraft by shooting out beams of ions. The Astra / Apollo Fusion systems can make use of xenon or krypton.