Apollo Fusion and The Future of Satellite Propulsion
Play • 31 min

The satellite business is growing rapidly as space technology and technology here on Earth advances. Whether it’s for navigation purposes or wifi accessibility, more and more satellites of all sizes and purposes are being launched into the great beyond. But, before they can fulfill their purpose, they have to hitch a ride to space. 


My guest today is Dean Massey, Director of Research at Apollo Fusion, Inc. This California-based company is developing exciting new forms of propulsion for space satellites. In this rapidly growing industry, Apollo stands out because of their unique focus on the smaller satellite market. Their journey into space began in 2016 with fusion, and soon after transformed into propulsion as the market began to develop and show promise.


In this episode, you’ll hear about the early days of this space-age startup, and more about the overall history of space satellites. We’ll talk about how the propulsion system functions as it simultaneously launches hundreds of small satellites, and the simulation aspects of recreating a space-like environment. You’ll also learn about the challenges they’ve faced as a startup in the space industry, and how they’ve surpassed them as they gear up for their first launch. 


Some Questions I Ask:

  • What’s the mission that you and your team have embarked on? (1:30)
  • What is a Hall Thruster? (6:47)
  • How does the propulsion system function on the satellite? (11:40)
  • What makes Apollo thrusters unique (17:55)
  • What are the future goals for the company? (22:28)
  • What drew you to Siemens and the products that you use? (26:35)


What You’ll Learn in This Episode:

  • Why the Apollo focus is on the smaller satellite market (2:28)
  • How the company shifted from fusion to propulsion (5:19)
  • A short history of space satellites (7:53)
  • How long it takes satellites to get to space (14:08)
  • Why manufacturability makes Apollo different (20:01)


Resources:

Apollo Fusion


Connect with Dean Massey:

LinkedIn


Connect with Paul Musto:

LinkedIn



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