Apollo Fusion to propel Spaceflight Inc.'s Sherpa-LTE
Apollo Fusion ACE thruster operating with Xenon propellant
Apollo Fusion Inc.

Apollo Fusion to propel Spaceflight Inc.'s Sherpa-LTE

Xenon propellant electric propulsion system extends the ability of small launch vehicles.

November 13, 2020

Apollo Fusion Inc. has been selected as the electric propulsion system for Spaceflight Inc.'s Sherpa-LTE. The Sherpa-LTE is a high specific impulse (Isp), xenon propellant, electric propulsion orbital transfer vehicle (OTV). It builds on Spaceflight's Sherpa-NG program by incorporating Apollo Constellation Engine (ACE) – a low thrust, high efficiency, radiation hardened Hall thruster propulsion system developed by Apollo Fusion. As ACE systems can generate more than 6km per second of delta-V, Sherpa-LTE now has the capability to deliver customers to GEO, cislunar, or Earth-escape orbits. Sherpa-LTE provides a low-cost alternative to purchasing full direct-inject launch vehicles and will extend the ability of small launch vehicles that are currently under development to reach beyond low Earth orbit. The Sherpa-LTE is targeted to fly mid-2021.

Apollo Fusion, Inc. designs and builds state of the art Hall thruster propulsion systems for a variety of government and commercial satellite programs. Apollo's founder and CEO is Mike Cassidy. He was previously a Google vice president where he led Project Loon, a high-altitude telecommunications system.