Phase Four In the News

Phase Four is a disruptive provider of next generation electric propulsion (EP) solutions for small satellites. The company was founded in 2015 to address the demands of the rapid proliferation of satellite constellations and to accelerate the advancement of its radio-frequency thruster (RFT). The Phase Four RFT represents a revolutionary new architecture that realizes lower cost, mass-manufacturability, miniaturized power electronics, and propellant agnosticism over incumbent technologies, without compromising performance. In 2021 Phase Four’s Maxwell turn-key propulsion system achieved flight heritage and is now being regularly utilized by small satellite operators. For media/press inquiries, contact us.


Phase Four Partners with Redwire to Expand Space Propulsion Offerings and Deliver Hall Effect Thrusters

July 9, 2024

Based on the NASA-designed and tested H71M Hall Effect Thruster, the two companies will manufacture a family of propulsion systems spanning a range of input power and propellants.

Phase Four Accelerates Mission with Announcement of Distinguished Board of Advisors

April 5, 2024

Phase Four, a leading provider of next generation electric propulsion (EP) solutions for satellites, proudly announces its distinguished Board of Advisors. Comprised of esteemed former government space leaders and industry visionaries, the Board will play a pivotal role in informing Phase Four’s strategic direction and advancing its mission of revolutionizing in-space propulsion technology.

DARPA Awards Phase Four $14.9M Contract to Develop Air Breathing Electric Propulsion for Very Low Earth Orbit Operations

April 4, 2024

Phase Four, a leading provider of next generation electric propulsion (EP) solutions for satellites, was awarded a $14.9M contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to deliver an “air-breathing” EP system to enable extended satellite operations in Very Low Earth Orbit (VLEO), at altitudes as low as 90-450km.

Phase Four Wins AFWERX Funding Boost for Propulsion Tech Development

July 10, 2023

Propulsion company Phase Four received a funding increase from the Air Force Research Laboratory and its innovation arm AFWERX.

The plasma glow created by Phase Four’s novel RF spacecraft engine firing on AFRL’s “green” propellant.

Phase Four’s spacecraft engine first to demo AFRL’s game-changing ‘green’ fuel

November 4, 2022

Former NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine told Breaking Defense that Phase Four has the potential to “disrupt the in-space propulsion market,” and its technology “is important for the country.”

Phase Four Unveils Game Changing Engine for LEO Constellations

October 13, 2022

Leveraging its new Block 2 architecture, Phase Four announces Max-V, a revolutionary plasma propulsion system available in 2023

Phase Four adopts iodine for next-gen Max-V engine

October 13, 2022

Propulsion startup Phase Four is expanding its Maxwell plasma propulsion line by offering Max-V, an iodine-fueled engine.

A Maxwell Block 2 engine undergoing environmental testing at Phase Four

Jim Bridenstine, Former NASA Administrator, joins Phase Four’s Board of Directors

September 2, 2022

Bridenstine brings a wealth of industry experience and a commitment to space sustainability

Jim Bridenstine

Former NASA administrator joins board of spacecraft propulsion startup Phase Four

September 1, 2022

Former NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine joined the board of directors of spacecraft propulsion startup Phase Four, the company told CNBC.

Phase Four's RF Thruster operating on a nitrogen-oxygen blend

Phase Four and Impulse Space to Collaborate on Multi-Mode Propulsion

June 8, 2022

Phase Four, the creator of the radio-frequency thruster (RF Thruster) for satellite propulsion, announced today that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Impulse Space, a Space 2.0 pioneer providing agile, economical last-mile space payload delivery capabilities.

Maxwell Block 2: Updated ICD & Pricing

June 1, 2022

Phase Four has just released the updated ICD rev B of our Maxwell Block 2 engine. Please reach out to us directly in order to download the document.

Phase Four to expand engine manufacturing capacity in 2022

May 23, 2022

Phase Four is building out a new 23,000 sq.ft. production facility to support high volume plasma propulsion engine manufacturing.

Exclusive: Phase Four Inks Deal to Scale Production

May 20, 2022

El Segundo-based Phase Four today finalized a lease to build a second factory and scale production of its Maxwell engine product line. The new Hawthorne facility will be over 3X larger than Phase Four’s current plant, and capable of cranking out 100 engines a year.

Opinion: Make The U.S. Electric Propulsion Supply Chain More Secure

April 22, 2022

For most of the last decade, the U.S. relied almost entirely on Russia for rocket engines and crewed launches into space.

Phase Four Hires Former SpaceX Attorney Margaret Abernathy as General Counsel

February 28, 2022

Phase Four expands its leadership team to support the company’s rapid growth in both the commercial and government markets.

Phase Four wins DARPA contract to test novel propellant

February 16, 2022

Phase Four won a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency contract to demonstrate the California startup’s radio frequency thruster technology with a new propellant

Phase Four Awarded Novel Thruster Prototype Development Contract by DARPA

February 16, 2022

The Company will adapt its versatile radio-frequency thruster to operate on novel, low cost propellants.

RF Thruster - Phase Four

Phase Four and Orbit Fab to work on Maxwell engine refueling

January 25, 2022

Propulsion startup Phase Four has signed a memorandum of understanding with satellite refueling startup Orbit Fab aimed at preparing future Phase Four Maxwell engines for on-orbit refueling.

Maxwell Block 1

2021 by the Numbers & a Sneak Preview of 2022

January 10, 2022

2021 has been by far the most significant year in the history of Phase Four

Maxwell Block engines

PhaseFour Debuts Improved Thruster

December 6, 2021

Satellite electric propulsion company Phase Four has completed testing of a new thruster that it says offers significantly improved performance

RF Thruster

Phase Four Reveals Next Generation RF Thruster Performance

December 1, 2021

In the wake of delivering its 10th flight unit, Phase Four announces 85%+ performance improvement in 2nd generation thruster