SteamJet Space Systems is developing a safe and compact, water-based propulsion system for CubeSats and Small Satellites. The system is a Resistojet, or Electro-thermal thruster, which uses water or any other low pressure, non-toxic and non-corrosive working fluid to create thrust. Unlike high pressure cold gas thrusters or hazardous monopropellant systems, the SteamJet propulsion unit is safe for launch-site operations, or storage within the ISS, reducing the overall mission risks and costs.
The propulsion system will allow CubeSats and Small Satellites to: keep, change and optimise their orbit; correctly operate in constellations; de-orbit at the end of their mission, limiting the amount of space junk currently around Earth.
The first laboratory prototype has been already built and successfully tested, achieving excellent results. The first space prototype is currently under qualification and it will be tested in space with a technology demonstration mission at the end of the year.