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CisLunar Industries to buy Neumann Drive to recycle orbital metal

Adelaide-based Neumann Space will deliver its world-leading propulsion system, the Neumann Drive®, to Colorado-based CisLunar Industries, a designer and manufacturer of Modular Space Foundries, to help progress a U.S. Space Force-funded project that will create a circular propulsion ecosystem, the companies have announced. This is Neumann Space’s first commercial sale as well as its first export.

The US$1.7 million (AUD$2.55 million) project led by CisLunar Industries and including industry partners such as Astroscale U.S. and Colorado State University, is focused on operationalising the recycling of metal in space to create metallic fuel for propulsion that will enable enhanced and sustainable satellite mobility.

The Neumann Drive® was selected for integration into this project due to its unique propulsion technology that uses solid metallic propellant. Neumann Space has previously conducted a series of tests demonstrating that its patented pulsed cathodic arc thruster technology can use in-space recycled metal as fuel.

Neumann Space’s CEO, Herve Astier said, “Our company’s mission is to enable the sustainable economic development of space, and we are proud that our propulsion system will play a role in this project as it seeks to create the foundations for a new circular economy in space.

“The supply agreement with CisLunar Industries represents the first commercial sale and first export of the Neumann Drive® and we are confident that this milestone marks the beginning of an accelerated role for our company in providing off-the-shelf, safe and easy-to-integrate electric propulsion systems to improve mobility in space,” he added.

CisLunar Industries’ CEO, Gary Calnan, said “As the industrial in-space economy accelerates and as the space domain becomes more contested, the Space Force has a need to be able to manoeuvre without regret. Our Modular Space Foundry and our partners’ capabilities allow us to turn space debris into propellant for the Neumann Drive®, which can then be used to retrieve more space debris, support the Space Force SAML (Space Access, Mobility, and Logistics) mission, and provide materials for in- space manufacturing and construction. With the Space Force’s foresight to invest in our combined capabilities, what we are creating now lays the foundation for a full-scale industrial economy in space.”

Neumann Space is an Australian-owned company whose mission is to enable the sustainable economic development of space. To achieve that the company is developing products using a unique leading technology with solid metallic propellants for in-space electric propulsion of satellites and spacecraft.

Denver, Colorado-based CisLunar Industries is developing, manufacturing, and operating its Modular Space Foundries (MSFs) to process metal in space for use in space. The MSF transforms feedstock into metal propellant and products for in-space manufacturing. The MSF enables solutions to multiple customer problems in space and on Earth: space debris recycling, propellant refueling, satellite end-of-life disposal, large structure construction, supply of lunar metal manufacturing feedstock, and terrestrial mining.

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