13 October
Space News reports that the Eutelsat-172b all-electric satellite reached its target in geostationary orbit this week “only four months after its launch, setting an industry record for the fastest all electric orbit-raising.” Even at this record pace, orbit-raising is much slower for an electric propulsion satellite than for a satellite utilizing chemical propulsion, which Airbus estimates could have reached its orbit within a week. Airbus spokesman Guilhem Boltz sees positives to an electric system, though, and said that chemical propulsion “would have required nearly 2 tons more of propellant, increasing the volume and the mass of the satellite, and consequently the cost of the launch. Electric propulsion takes longer, but in-orbit costs less.” (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info (Space News)