Benchmark Space Systems to Acquire AASC’s Metal Plasma Thruster Tech as Part of Hybrid Propulsion Strategy

The Space Economy Gets Major Tech Advancement with Hybrid Mobility Packages

BURLINGTON, Vt., August 8, 2022 (Benchmark Space Systems PR) – With hybrid vehicle sales at an all-time high on Earth, Benchmark Space Systems today announced a definitive agreement to acquire Alameda Applied Sciences Corporation (AASC)’s electric propulsion technologies to help power hybrid spacecraft designed to ultimately run on in-space resources and repurposed space debris.   

Benchmark’s turn-key hybrid chemical + electric propulsion systems will leverage the high thrust capabilities of its non-toxic chemical Halcyon HTP propulsion systems and the precision maneuverability of its Xantus metal plasma thrusters (MPTs), a core part of the newly named electric propulsion technology acquired from AASC.

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NASA Small Business Partners Advance Lunar Technologies

Illustration of Artemis astronauts on the Moon. NASA’s Artemis mission will establish a sustainable presence on the Moon to prepare for missions to Mars. (Credits: NASA)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — Small businesses around the country have played a critical part in NASA technologies that enable our missions. As NASA returns to the Moon via the Artemis program, in an enhanced, sustainable way; the agency has selected five U.S. small businesses to receive a total of nearly $20 million to accelerate the development of novel lunar capabilities. 

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NASA Selects Small Spacecraft Technologies for Funding

New high-impulse thrusters and communications technologies that will facilitate missions by groups of spacecraft beyond Earth orbit are among the small satellite technologies that NASA is funding under its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

The space agency selected six research and development projects for SBIR Phase II funding. The awards are for up to $750,000 over two years.

Three of the proposals focus on small satellite thrusters. Alameda Applied Sciences Corporation (AASC) of Oakland, California will continue to develop its high-impulse metal plasma thrusters for use on CubeSat missions.

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