Hypernova launched its first thruster mission, Platform-2, today via Endurosat’s shared satellite service. The South African space company first announced its shared satellite service partnership with EnduroSat in 2020 to explore new ways of extending space capabilities in small satellites.
Through this launch, Hypernova aims to validate its proprietary plasma electric propulsion system, in orbit, on EnduroSat’s Platform-2. In addition, the thrusters are expected to perform an extensive testing campaign to provide accurate satellite manoeuvres under a wide variety of operational modes & conditions in the coming months.
The satellite was launched into space by SpaceX’s Transporter-6 mission, which took off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station today at 14:56 GMT. Besides Platform 2, the Transporter-6 also carried Dragonfly Aerospace’s EOS SAT-1 and other payloads for scientific, research and commercial customers.
Hypernova’s technology aims to challenge the status quo of traditional electric propulsion systems with simpler, safer & flexible operations for the satellite manufacturer & operator and unlock new capabilities in remote sensing and other critical space applications.
You can watch the launch via this link.
According to a pre-launch statement released by Endurosat and Hypernova, the project aims to broaden the world’s access to the value derived from satellites, for which it believes Very Low Earth Orbits (VLEO) orbits are a critical feature of affordable services and supporting assets. Long-term drag compensation via propulsion constitutes an essential element to make this possible.
Although vacuum arc propulsion is not new, Hypernova has developed and implemented extensive IP to mature the technology for practical use. As a result, Platform-2 will demonstrate the most powerful & capable vacuum arc-based thruster system ever flown in orbit to date. Hypernova’s 0.5U-sized test unit will also operate two types of solid fuels on the mission.
The satellite was the 3rd of 114 satellites deployed from the SharedSat 2211/Platform-2. Official release from Endurosat confirms that Platform-2 has been successfully launched into orbit while safe deployment has been confirmed and commissioning has commenced.