STEP-1 (Staged Electrospray Pathfinder 1)

Name STEP-1 (Staged Electrospray Pathfinder 1)
Spacecraft type CubeSat
Units or mass 3U
Status not launched, expected in 2024
Launcher not launched
Organisation MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Institution University
Entity type Academic / Education
Headquarters US

Technology demonstration mission for the staged electrospray propulsion system.


Technology demonstration mission for the staged electrospray propulsion system developed as part of the High Specific Impulse Electrospray Explorer for Deep Space (HiSPEED) project in NASA's Small Spacecraft Technology Program.

The primary goals of the mission are to demonstrate the use of a staged configuration in order to increase the total impulse delivered by state-of-the-art propulsion systems based on microfabricated electrospray thrusters and to use these thrusters for orbital control maneuvers in CubeSats.

STEP-1 Demonstrates:

  • Last major technology step for HiSPEED
  • Propulsion scaling and modularity
  • Trajectory and attitude control
  • Core technology efficiency
  • Propellant microvalve operation

**STEP-1 Provides: **

  • Thruster flight qualification
  • Staging flight qualification
  • Student training in design/build/test
Sources [1] [2]
Photo sources [1]
Keywords Propulsion

Last modified: 2023-11-10

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