Airbus Defence and Space


Satellite Propulsion Systems

Orbit Injection, Trajectory Manoeuvres, Attitude and Orbit Control

Airbus Defence and Space is Europe‘s leading manufacturer of chemical propulsion systems and propulsion components for spacecraft (S/C). Some 400 S/C were equipped with Airbus Defence and Space‘s propulsion systems to date. Airbus Defence and Space provides both turn key system solutions and single components to its customers.

Propulsion Systems:

  • Mono-Propellant systems (Hydrazine) for small spacecraft
  • Bi-Propellant systems (NTO/MMH) for GEO Platforms (like     Eurostar, Spacebus, Alphabus, Amos) and large S/C (ATV)
  • Electric propulsion systems
  • Major components:
    Mono- & Bi-propellant  thrusters 1N to 500N
    HET and Ion thrusters 15mN to 150mN
    Propellant tanks   100  to 1500 Litres
    FCV-valves, Latch-valves, Pyro-valves, F&D valves

The propulsion systems may be designed as integral part of the S/C bus or as plug in modules as requested by the S/C concept

Launch Services:

Airbus Defence and Space performs fuelling of own and foreign S/C propulsion systems at all international launch sites and supports the customer’s team for priming S/C propulsion systems in space.


For more information visit: Airbus Defence and Space Propulsion Site


Our Heritage

Space propulsion development milestones and world records set by Airbus Defence and Space

For over 50 years, the Ottobrunn and Lampoldshausen sites of Airbus Defence and Space have gathered an impressive portfolio of heritage and world achievement in the field of spacecraft and launch vehicle propulsion.

It was as early as 1958 that in Ottobrunn, Ludwig Bölkow started the development of a rocket engine with a staged combustion cycle, the first of its kind in the history of rocketry. In 1963, this unit became the first operational high-pressure propulsion system in the world when it was fired on our test bed. Moreover, it was the first green propellant rocket engine to be developed in Europe, using a propellant combination of liquid oxygen and kerosene. This green propellant rocket engine generated a thrust of 50 kN at a pressure of 85 bar.