World's first electric satellites successfully lifted off by SpaceX rocket
World’s first electric satellites were successfully lifted off by a Space Exploration (SpaceX) Technologies rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, United States.
The rocket was carrying two all-electric commercial satellites built by Boeing. The satellites are owned by the French satellite provider Eutelsat and Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS).
Eutelsat’s satellite is part of its 35-member commercial network. It will provide services like mobile, internet, video and other communications services to expand its reach into the Americas. While, ABS new satellite will serve its customers in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
Features of electric satellites
- These satellites are fitted with lightweight, all-electric engines rather than conventional chemical propulsion systems.
- These electric engines allow satellites to produce electric propulsion in order to reach and remain fixed in particular orbit.
- Electric propulsion from these satellites consumes less fuel compared with satellite having chemical propulsion. Thus making satellites lighter in weight and further reducing cost of launch.