Latest in Abs

Image credit:

World's first all-electric propulsion satellite begins operations

Andrew Tarantola, @terrortola
September 14, 2015
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Boeing has announced that the first satellite using fully-electric propulsion has begun operating. Dubbed the ABS-3A, this 4,300-pound telecommunications satellite will provide C- and Ku-band service to South America, the Middle East and Africa. Unlike, well most every other satellite in orbit, the ABS-3A doesn't rely on tanks of inert gas for propulsion and orbit maintenance. Instead it relies on the Xenon Ion Propulsion System (XIPS) which employs a magnetic field to push ions around and generate thrust. The satellite is expected to use just 11 pounds of Xenon annually over the course of its 15 year operational life span -- that's a tenth the amount of propellent that a conventional satellite would require.

Boeing launched the satellite aboard a Falcon 9 rocket in March and handed off control of ABS-3A to its new owner, Asia Broadcast Satellite, at the end of August -- a month earlier than originally planned. Boeing plans to launch a second such satellite, ABS-2A, early next year.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

SpaceX scales back plans for Starship's first high-altitude flight

SpaceX scales back plans for Starship's first high-altitude flight

View
Windows XP source code leak sheds light on Microsoft's OS history

Windows XP source code leak sheds light on Microsoft's OS history

View
Dark mode is coming to WhatsApp for Android

Dark mode is coming to WhatsApp for Android

View
The next Xbox is called Series X and it looks like a PC tower

The next Xbox is called Series X and it looks like a PC tower

View
The best wireless workout headphones

The best wireless workout headphones

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr