Blue Canyon Technologies Selects ExoTerra Resources to Provide Blackjack Satellite Thrusters

Blue Canyon Technologies Selects ExoTerra Resources to Provide Blackjack Satellite Thrusters

In 2020, Blue Canyon tapped Orbion Space Technology to supply electric propulsion for its first four Blackjack satellites. ExoTerra was a secondary supplier of Hall effect propulsion systems for Blue Canyon’s first four Blackjack satellites.

FREMONT, CA: Blue Canyon Technologies has selected ExoTerra Resources to provide electric propulsion for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s Blackjack Phase 2 and Phase 3 satellites. Blue Canyon, a Raytheon subsidiary, won a $14.1 million DARPA contract in 2020 to manufacture four Blackjack satellites, with options to build 16 additional small satellites for a constellation in low Earth orbit to provide communications, missile tracking, and navigation services.

In 2020, Blue Canyon tapped Orbion Space Technology to supply electric propulsion for its first four Blackjack satellites. ExoTerra was a secondary supplier of Hall effect propulsion systems for Blue Canyon’s first four Blackjack satellites. Littleton, Colorado-based ExoTerra expects its thrusters to fly on two Blue Canyon Blackjack satellites scheduled to launch in 2022.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Blue Canyon and DARPA on this project,” ExoTerra CEO Mike VanWoerkom said, “Being selected by Blue Canyon validates the hard work we’ve been doing to put the production capabilities in place to meet the growing demand for propulsion from constellations of microsatellites like Blackjack.”

In response to the strong demand for the miniature thrusters, ExoTerra moved one year ago into a 1,022 square meter facility in Littleton, Colorado, where the firm has enough manufacturing capacity to produce 200 propulsion units per year in addition to solar arrays and radiation-tolerant electronic control systems.

ExoTerra also is preparing for a 2022 flight test of its 12-unit CubeSat equipped with a compact, high-impulse solar electric propulsion module. NASA is funding the CubeSat flight through the Tipping Point program, supporting technologies for sustained moon and Mars exploration.

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