Phase Four Awarded Novel Thruster Prototype Development Contract by DARPA

A recent successful firing of the Phase Four RF Thruster using sublimated iodine as propellant. (Credit: Phase Four)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Feb. 16, 2022 (Phase Four PR) — Phase Four, the creator of the radio-frequency thruster (RF Thruster) for satellite propulsion, announced today that it finalized a contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to adapt the RF Thruster to operate on novel, low cost propellants. The effort includes the development of a prototype engine and vacuum chamber testing. The results of the prototyping effort will demonstrate the proof of concept of a novel plasma propulsion system for various mission applications.

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Phase Four and OrbitFab to Collaborate on in-Orbit Refueling

Companies seek to explore collaboration with RAFTI™ refueling system and Maxwell engines using both traditional and advanced propellants

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., January 24, 2022 (Phase Four PR) –– Phase Four, the creator of the radio-frequency thruster for satellite propulsion, announced today that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Orbit Fab, the market leader for in-orbit refueling services and the creator of RAFTI, the industry standard satellite refueling interface. The companies seek to ensure that future Phase Four Maxwell engines may be refueled in-orbit to extend mission lifetimes and maximize ROI for spacecraft. The companies will evaluate RAFTI compatibility for refueling of traditional electric propulsion propellants such as xenon as well as advanced propellants such as ASCENT available to Phase Four’s propellant-agnostic core technology – the RF Thruster.

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Phase Four Reveals Next Generation RF Thruster Performance

Three Maxwell Block 1 engines nearing final assembly during Phase Four’s most recent production run. (Credit: Phase Four)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Dec. 1, 2021 (Phase Four PR) — Phase Four, the creator of the radio-frequency thruster for satellite propulsion, announced today that its second generation thruster offers significant performance improvements over its first generation thruster.  The new thruster, which will be at the core of the Maxwell Block 2 engine, has demonstrated more than 13 mN of thrust and over 700 s of specific impulse (Isp) at 500 Watts of input power.  This represents an overall 85%+ performance improvement from the company’s first generation thruster.

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Phase Four Wins U.S. Space Force Contract at SpaceWERX Pitch Day

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (Phase Four PR) — Phase Four, the creator of the radio-frequency thruster for satellite propulsion, announced today that it has secured a contract with the U.S. Space Force at the SpaceWERX Pitch Day held on August 18th, 2021 for the company’s propellant-agnostic Maxwell engine. Under the contract, Maxwell will utilize ASCENT, a green propellant developed by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, to enable multi-mode propulsion capability, which combines the high thrust capabilities of chemical propulsion and the high efficiency capabilities of electric propulsion.

“Space is rapidly becoming congested and contested,” said Phase Four CEO, Beau Jarvis.  “The U.S. Space Force and commercial satellite operators must increase the maneuverability of their spacecraft to operate safely and minimize on orbit risks.”

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Phase Four Raises $26m Series B led by New Science Ventures

Two recently built Maxwell engine flight units ready for delivery. (Credit: Phase Four)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., June 11, 2021 (Phase Four PR) — Phase Four, the creator of the radio-frequency thruster for satellite propulsion, announced today that it has closed a Series B investment round of $26 million.  The round was led by New Science Ventures LLC (“NSV”), a leading venture capital firm focused on building companies that leverage breakthrough science to create extraordinary value.

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