A local space technology company has landed a contract from NASA to continue development of thruster systems that will be used to maneuver small spacecraft.
Orbion Space Technology will use advanced 3-D printing techniques to produce heating elements that will make thrusters easier and less expensive to build.
With more than 10,000 small satellites expected to be launched into space in the next five to seven years, Orbion CEO Lyon B. King says that it’s time to use mass production techniques to build them efficiently.
Orbion was founded three years ago on the Michigan Tech campus, and received startup assistance from the M-Tec SmartZone. It specializes in building thrusters for small spacecraft that are fuel-efficient and cost-effective.