Space Propulsion · Scientific Instruments · Tailored Engineering
ThrustMe is a deep-tech company in the space industry. We develop and manufacture smart and fully-integrated space propulsion systems for next-generation satellites. We also develop scientific instruments and conduct ground testing of space hardware, and we assist our clients when they need our expertise and experience in tackling thermal, mechanical and electronical challenges.
ThrustMe emerged from Ecole polytechnique and the CNRS where our founders – Dr Ane Aanesland and Dr Dmytro Rafalskyi - developed their expertise in plasma physics and electric propulsion. Before the creation of the company, they published a total of 75 peer reviewed scientific papers and gained a solid international reputation as experts and out-of-the-box innovators.
In 2014, it became clear for Ane and Dmytro that constellations of miniaturized satellites would be the next big thing – and that these new satellites would need adequate propulsion systems not yet available to them, for the new space industry to fully flourish. Propulsion would allow advanced maneuvers in space and limit debris creation – a sine-qua-non for closing the new business cases of constellations and for assuring a sustainable space environment.
Ane and Dmytro started focusing their research towards miniaturization of electric propulsion, with the idea to solve problems on at system level, rather than focusing on one brick alone – the thruster.
Together with their research collogues at the Laboratory of Plasma Physics they studied alternative propellants for plasma based thrusters and new methods for accelerating ions and electrons to generate thrust. They revisited the fundamentals of space propulsion and got inspirations from many other fields of research, such as physics and methods used in deep-trench-etching of silicon wafers. In 2014 and 2015, Dmytro and Ane filed several patents – maybe the first sign of the entrepreneurial seed being planted in them.
From research to startup
In 2016, our founders decided to change their focus from research to developing prototypes, and they started looking into business cases and business models. With funding and support from SATT Paris-Saclay , our first engineers were recruited, we reached proof-of-concepts that paved the way for our NPT30 propulsion systems small enough to fit in a CubeSat yet performant enough to allow advanced orbital maneuvers.
Starting the company
ThrustMe was incorporated in early 2017. We raised more than 2 million euros of public and private capital in just a few months, we negotiated an exclusive world-wide license to exploit the patents our founders filed while doing their research, and by the end of 2017, we were a top-notch team of 10 complementary people.
Today, ThrustMe has established itself as one of the serious and competent new space actors at an international level. Our passion for space engineering, new technologies and first-principal thinking as driven us – and still does – to create breakthrough products for both space and Earth applications.