Satellite companies may be starting to take the fight against space junk seriously

French startup ThrustMe has announced a jump in orders for its innovative iodine-based propulsion systems for small satellites. The interest indicates a shift toward a more sustainable space environment, according to the company. 

ThrustMe has passed 200 orders, the company said in an Oct. 24 statement, representing a doubling of its order book within just four months. The company’s 4-inch-by-4-inch-by-4-inch (10 centimeters by 10 cm by 10 cm) NPT30-I2 electric thruster — which was first tested in 2020 and uses relatively cheap and abundant iodine, instead of the more exotic xenon — provides small satellites with autonomous maneuverability, helping them avoid collisions and to deorbit when the time comes.


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