Astrium producing satellite propulsion systems

July 10, 2013 at 4:50 PM
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PARIS, July 10 (UPI) -- Propulsion systems for six Meteosat Third-Generation weather satellites are to be produced by Astrium and delivered to OHB System AG of Germany.

OHB System AG is partner of Thales Alenia in France, in a program for six satellites for EUMETSAT, a European Union organization responsible for the launch and operation of meteorological satellites.

Astrium's Unified Propulsion System features a complete pre-integrated drive system with 16 10-Newton thrusters for orbit and attitude control, and one 400-Newton apogee engine. All are fueled from two propellant tanks with hydrazine nitrogen tetroxide.

Astrium said after release from the launch rocket, the 400-Newton apogee engine will propel the satellite to its geostationary orbit. Leftover fuel will then be used by satellite thrusters to maintain orbit path.

The propulsion systems will be produced at Astrium's plant in Lampoldshausen, Germany. Delivery of the first unit is scheduled for 2015.

Astrium, a subsidiary of EADS, did not disclose the value of the contract.

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