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Astra Announces Spacecraft Engine Contract with Apex

April 27, 2023

Astra Space, Inc. announced a contract for Astra to initially provide 5 Spacecraft Propulsion Kits for Apex’s satellite bus platform. Astra is expected to begin delivering the Spacecraft Propulsion Kits in 2023.

The Spacecraft Propulsion Kit disaggregates the four subsystems of the Astra Spacecraft Engine™ module: (1) thruster, (2) power processing unit, (3) feed system, and (4) tank. This disaggregation enables satellite builders to take advantage of shorter lead times to access key components of their propulsion system that they can customize for their unique missions. Astra is adopting the way development kits have transformed the software industry and applying it to hardware by providing the tools and support to accelerate spacecraft development at scale.

Apex’s satellite buses are configured by customers to meet specific mission needs. Apex’s 100 kg bus model, Aries, will use the Astra Spacecraft Engine™ to support its electric propulsion package. Apex customers are able receive their spacecraft in a matter of months thanks to Apex’s design-for-manufacturing approach, interoperable software, and product-first mentality.

“The Astra Spacecraft Engine has the flight heritage and the performance we need to deliver our satellite platforms to customers on schedule,” said Max Benassi, Chief Technology Officer of Apex. “As Apex scales production, we look forward to continuing to work with suppliers like Astra who can meet our production ramp rates.”

“Astra and Apex share the common value of producing space products at scale,” said Margo de Naray, General Manager of Astra Spacecraft Engines™ at Astra. “Astra’s Spacecraft Propulsion Kits are expected to allow customers like Apex to shorten lead times to deliver on customer programs.”


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