Bradford Space, a US-owned space systems manufacturer with locations in the Netherlands and Sweden, has acquired control over Deep Space Industries, Inc., often known as DSI. In becoming part of the Bradford group, DSI will become Bradford’s first substantial US presence, providing an outlet and location for activities in the US space market.
Founded in 2012 as an ambitious venture to mine the resources of the asteroids, DSI has more recently become known for its production of the Comet™ water-based electrothermal propulsion systems. Four Comet systems are currently on orbit on spacecraft operated by Capella Space and HawkEye 360. Other customers of DSI include LeoStella, a joint venture of Spaceflight and Thales Alenia Space, and the Space Flight Laboratory (SFL), a satellite development group inside the University of Toronto.
Said Bradford Director Ian Fichtenbaum, “We appreciate the strong support shown by DSI’s customers for the Comet product. Their ongoing interest gave us the confidence in continuing to develop the product line.”
The addition of the Comet product line is seen as critical to Bradford’s development as a world-leading supplier of non-toxic space propulsion systems and will be a complement to the Bradford ECAPS ‘green’propulsion systems. ECAPS propulsion systems are already found on fifteen orbiting spacecraft with more planned for launch in 2019, said Bradford & ECAPS Managing director Patrick van Put. ECAPS propulsion systems were found on three spacecraft on the recently launched Spaceflight SSO-A mission, alongside four spacecraft equipped with DSI Comet systems.
In acquiring control of DSI, Bradford has also assumed ownership and continued development of the Xplorer mission bus, a project by DSI to provide a lower-cost basis for deep space missions. Said Ian, “The DSI team provided very innovative solutions to the problem of exploring the solar system at a reasonable cost, and we are eager to see if that can be developed with the help of Bradford technologies. We believe in developing and exploring the riches of the solar system and we want to be among the ones to make it happen.”
Going forward, DSI will be rebranded as Bradford Space, Inc., or colloquially as ‘BSI’, in reference to the former name. DSI operations will also continue in San Jose, California in the heart of Silicon Valley, but now under the Bradford name and leadership.