Multi-Mode propulsion enables new mission capabilities for the commercial in-space mobility market
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (Phase Four PR) — Phase Four, the creator of the radio-frequency thruster (RF Thruster) for satellite propulsion, announced today that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Impulse Space, a Space 2.0 pioneer providing agile, economical last-mile space payload delivery capabilities. The companies seek to explore and collaborate on opportunities to develop and market multi-mode propulsion capabilities that may be employed by future commercial space vehicles. The companies will evaluate the performance of Phase Four’s propellant-agnostic RF Thruster on green propellants of interest.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFRL PR) – SpaceWERX officially lifted off Aug. 19 during the virtual Space Force Pitch Day. The event closed with 19 small businesses securing Phase II Small Business Innovation Research contracts to advance their cutting-edge space technologies.
The newly launched SpaceWERX will play a vital role in pursuing innovative technologies for the U.S. Space Force. It will operate as part of AFWERX, the Department of the Air Force’s innovation arm.
“What better way of introducing the new organization than bringing in new partners, locking in new investments and going after great space technology,” said Lt. Col. Walter “Rock” McMillan, SpaceWERX Director. “We’re excited to be partnering with these great companies and the great technology they bring to the table.”
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.
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected 17 U.S. companies for 20 partnerships to mature industry-developed space technologies for the Moon and beyond through the Space Technology Mission Directorate’s 2020 Announcement of Collaboration Opportunity (ACO).
The selected proposals are relevant to technology topic areas outlined in the solicitation, including cryogenic fluid management and propulsion; advanced propulsion; sustainable power; in-situ propellant and consumable production; intelligent/resilient systems and advanced robotics; advanced materials and structures; entry, descent, and landing; and small spacecraft technologies.
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected 17 U.S. companies for 20 partnerships to mature industry-developed space technologies for the Moon and beyond. The NASA and industry teams will design a 3D printing system for NASA’s Artemis lunar exploration program, test a simple method for removing dust from planetary solar arrays, mature a first-stage rocket recovery system for a small satellite launch provider, and more.
Various NASA centers will work with the companies, ranging from small businesses and large aerospace companies to a previous NASA challenge winner, to provide expertise and access to the agency’s unique testing facilities. The partnerships aim to accelerate the development of emerging space capabilities.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., March 17, 2020 (Phase Four PR) — Phase Four, makers of radio frequency (RF) plasma engines for in-space propulsion, has been awarded an SBIR Phase I contract by Air Force tech accelerator AFWERX, in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory and the National Security Innovation Network.
As part of this partnership, beginning in March 2020, Phase Four will work with the Air Force to adapt its revolutionary Maxwell in-space propulsion system to meet the needs of defense users.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., June 27, 2019 (Phase Four PR) — Phase Four today introduced Maxwell, the first turn key plasma propulsion solution for small satellites. Maxwell combines a complete propellant management system and Phase Four’s proprietary RF (radio frequency) plasma thruster into a compact form factor.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., January 31, 2019 (Phase Four PR) — Today Phase Four, a best in class provider of electric radio frequency (RF) thrusters for in-space propulsion, announced that Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Inc., a Terran Orbital corporation, has purchased multiple Maxwell thrusters for Tyvak’s expanding portfolio of end-to-end microsatellite solutions. Tyvak, known for its impressive base of U.S. government and commercial customers, selected Maxwell to validate its capability to fulfill multiple mission needs, including orbital adjustments and safe de-orbiting of satellites.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (Phase Four PR) — Phase Four, a provider of electric radio frequency (RF) thrusters for in-space propulsion, today announced that NASA has purchased one of Phase Four’s second-generation RF thrusters to vet its capabilities for small satellite propulsion.
The Phase Four thruster is part of an Integrated Propulsion Assembly (IPA) that contains: propellant storage and management, engine control electronics, power processing, and a thruster in one integrated solution. NASA will utilize the P4 propulsion solution to gain operational flight experience that demonstrates Phase Four’s capability to meet NASA’s upcoming small satellite mission goals. The IPA will be delivered to NASA in 2019.
PASADENA, Calif (Phase Four PR) — Phase Four LLC, a satellite propulsion company, has received a $1 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), in support of the effort to deliver a fully-integrated flight unit of the CubeSat Ambipolar Thruster (“CAT”). The contract also includes options for long-duration orbital flight testing and design enhancements for microsatellite-class missions.