The Boeing company announced the commissioning of the world's first satellites using all-electric propulsion. Telecommunications satellites ABS-3A and weighing a little less than two tons will cover South America, Middle East and Africa in C - and Ku-bands.
Unlike most existing satellites, ABS-3A does not rely on tanks with conventional rocket fuel to maintain and correct the orbit. Instead, it uses the xenon ion propulsion system, XIPS, which in turn uses a magnetic field to accelerate ions and produce thrust. It is expected that the satellite will spend at least five kilograms of xenon per year over its fifteen-year mission is only one-tenth the amount of propellant that spends a regular companion.
Boeing launched the ABS-3A aboard the Falcon 9 rocket in March of this year and handed control to its new owner — Asia Broadcast Satellite — at the end of August, a month earlier than planned. Boeing plans to launch the second satellite, ABS-2A, at the beginning of next year. published
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