Michigan-based in-space propulsion startup Orbion is working with a major new partner: The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). Orbion has secured a research contract from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s Propulsion Directorate, specifically aimed at helping the DOD “enhance resiliency of U.S. systems in space.”

Basically, it sounds like that will boil down to seeing how Orbion’s propulsion technology can be applied to DOD satellites when used in larger constellation form, to provide those satellites with the ability to move propulsively while in orbit, and to do so at a way that can scale cost-effectively. In a press release announcing the news, Orbion CEO Brad King says that volume is a strategy when it comes to fortifying U.S. systems in space agains potential foreign attack.

“One way to increase the resilience of space systems is to improve our nation’s ability to build and deploy small satellites in large numbers at low costs,” said King in a statement, “Orbion is developing mass-production techniques to build propulsion systems for commercial customers. With this research contract we are investigating how or if our manufacturing processes must be modified to meet DOD requirements.”

It’s true that in the past, the U.S. and other international …read more

Source:: TechCrunch


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