Two years openly developing electric propulsion in the basement on pennies. So much blood, sweat, and tears. So much has happened since that first successful plasma pulse. I can finally say this: as of today, Applied Ion Systems open-source thrusters are finally orbital. We did it everyone.
Launched on the Rocket Lab Electron rocket, aboard the Care Weather Hatchling Veery 1U Cubesat, currently deployed at 550km, is an AIS-gPPT3-1C Micro Pulsed Plasma Thruster, the first AIS thruster ever to make it to space.
I want to first and mostly thank my amazing wife, who has stood by me through everything. Without your incredible and unwavering support, I would have never gotten this far. Despite all the challenges and frustration, you never let me give up. Thank you.
Next, I want to thank everyone who has followed along, supported, and encouraged this effort. There’s been some amazing successes and painful failures, but no matter what happened, you all stuck by through everything and kept pushing me. AIS would not exist without your support.
Many thanks to all of the AIS Patrons and everyone who has donated. AIS has no investors, grants, or funding. Only out of pocket and the amazing generosity from so many of you around the world, which has allowed this effort to continue. We did it everyone, we are in space.
Finally, I want to thank Care Weather for the incredible opportunity to fly one of my thrusters aboard your first satellite, making this the first AIS thruster to go to space. Our journey has only just begun, and it’s a privilege to be a part of this mission.
This is only just the beginning. We still got a long way to go, and the thruster needs to prove itself in orbit, but this is the greatest milestone yet for AIS. I can now stand alongside industry leaders in EP with orbital hardware. And there will be much more to come!
I also hope this shows the power of openness and transparency in the field. From literally nothing in the to an orbital demo from the basement in only 2 years. Open source propulsion is now in orbit, and AIS is truly starting to make EP accessible for all.