Pale Blue will be providing a water vapor propulsion system (water engine) for Sony’s STAR SPHERE smallsat project.
The propulsion system will enter and maintain the orbit of the satellite, which will fly in LEO at an altitude of 500 km to 600 km and is expected to have a 2.5 year lifetime.
In recent years, environmental problems occurring on a global scale have become more serious — many countries around the world have declared themselves carbon neutral. An increasing number of companies are also working to reduce the environmental impact and handling costs by adopting green propellants in the space industry.
Pale Blue has tackled the environmental issues and growing demand by providing safe, sustainable and low-cost propulsion systems that use water as propellant. The Sony STAR SPHERE Project aims to create opportunities for people to nurture their thoughts on the global environment and social issues by freely observing the Earth from outer space.
The project’s smallsat was launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9 on January 3, 2023, as part of the Transporter-6 rideshare mission and marks Pale Blue’s first, on-orbit space demo of a water vapor propulsion system. Going forward, Pale Blue will advance science and technology through the safe, water-based propulsion system to create the nextgen of space mobility infrastructure.
“I am sure that STAR SPHERE, which enables everyone to discover perspectives from space and gain new inspiring experiences, is an unprecedented new use of space and a project with the potential to grow the space industry itself in a discontinuous manner,” said Jun Asakawa, CEO and Co-Founder of Pale Blue. “I am very pleased that our safe, sustainable and low-cost water thruster can contribute to this project, and we are committed to the development of the space industry.”