Why is EP unique Powerful liquid and solid propellant rocket engines are commonly used during the first stages of space flight. Despite relatively low specific impulse11 (i.e., propellant exhaust velocity), they feature very high thrust-to-weight ratios. Thus, they are most suitable for launch applications and reaching orbital velocity. In contrast, most long-duration missions imply low thrust but require high specific impulse to efficiently control the orientation and location of the spacecraft. Unfortunately, small chemical rocket engines deliver very low specific impulse at low thrust levels. In contrast, the EP that uses electrical energy to accelerate ionized propellant and delivers very high specific impulse is the leading propulsion solution for long-duration missions12. EP devices employ electrostatic or electromagnetic forces to accelerate the propellant and thus do not have physical limitations on their exhaust velocity.
Toku is the COO at Pale Blue in Japan to develop next generation spacecraft propulsion technology.Previously he has worked as a management consultant in the Aerospace and Defense industry at Avascent (Washington D.C.) and has experience working in the U.S. Department of Defense as well as the U.S. Department of State.He is a graduate of Northwestern University (B.A.), Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
Vytens Buzas is the CEO of Kongsberg NanoAvionics. Prior to founding NanoAvionics, Vytenis was a project manager for nanosatellite projects, project management, fund raising and organisational activities at the Mathematics and Informatics faculty of Vilnius University in Lithuania.Before that he was the leader and initiator of the first Lithuanian satellite LituanicaSAT-1 mission and project manager for the Lithuanian satellite project LituanicaSAT-2. He was also a scientific researcher at NASA Ames research centre where he was involved in projects related to liquid mono-propulsion systems for small spacecrafts. Including station keeping and de-orbit systems for eventual recovery of payloads.Vytenis acquired a BSc in Aeronautical Engineering at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Lithuania, and a MSc. degree in Mechatronics at the Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania. 153554b96e