Morpheus Space’s modular, scalable satellite propulsion could be a game-changer for orbital industry

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Building effective propulsion systems for satellites has traditionally been a highly bespoke affair, with expensive, one-off systems tailor-made to big, expensive spacecraft hardware. But increasingly, companies including startups are looking at ways to provide propulsion tech that can scale with the projected boom in demand for orbital satellites, including cube sats and small sats, as the commercialization of space and advances in sensor, communication and launch technology broaden the scope of those working in this bold new frontier.

Morpheus Space, which began life as a research project at the University of Western Germany, has accomplished a lot when it comes to propulsion in the short time since its official founding around a year and a half ago. The Dresden-based startup already has sent some of its thrusters to space where they’re actually providing propulsion, and it’s working with a number of clients and potential clients including NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The startup also just wrapped up its participation in Techstars’ inaugural Starburst Space Program in LA.

“Our motivation behind starting Morpheus Sapce was the lack of maneuverability of, especially small satellites in space,” explained Morpheus CEO and co-founder Daniel Bock, who I spoke to at last week’s International Astronautical Congress

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