Agile Space Industries, the aerospace propulsion experts trusted by NASA, defense contractors, and the Department of Defense for more than a decade, revealed that they are providing the new wave of propulsion technologies propelling commercial lunar lander platforms from industry leaders Astrobotic, ispace Technologies, and Masten. Agile’s patented, lightweight, and high-performance propulsion technologies are allowing un-crewed landers to deliver NASA payloads to the lunar surface. These preliminary robotic lander missions are paving the way for the Artemis program, a United States-led international effort to return humans to the Moon.
“We’re seeing a surge of interest from lunar lander providers needing propulsion solutions that are lower in mass and higher in performance than legacy products,” said Jeff Max, Agile CEO and co-founder. “Our modular thruster technologies achieve this thanks to proprietary 3D printing of metal alloys that make mission-optimized propulsion systems a practical reality.”
Astrobotic, ispace Technologies, and Masten are among a competitive pool of companies delivering lander services under the NASA Commercial Lunar Payload Services program. The program is incentivizing the development of spacecraft with lower-cost and increased capabilities. Each of these companies have contracted Agile to provide thrusters in order to be more competitive on the costs and schedules necessary to achieve NASA’s program objectives.
Agile combines a decade of propulsion testing experience with a team of former NASA, SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Aerojet Rocketdyne engineers, using advanced additive manufacturing to print, assemble, and test propulsion hardware in a matter of days, rather than months or years. Agile’s closely coupled in-house propulsion design and additive manufacturing expertise unlocks new levels of performance with mission-enabling spacecraft mass reductions. These efficiencies create more room on lunar landers, allowing for additional fuel or payloads to be flown. The upgrade from legacy thrusters to a shipset of Agile thrusters reduces the mass of the typical lander propulsion system by 10’s of kilograms. With some missions flying payloads to the lunar surface for over a million dollars per kilogram, this saves US taxpayers 8-figures in dead weight on every lander mission flown through NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services program.
Agile Space Industries