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Wondering who actually built the Starlink propulsion systems?

Did SpaceX develop this technology in-house, outsource or acquire a company that had the IP and bring this back in-house?

Very curious as to who developed their tech.

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    $\begingroup$ I am reasonably sure this question cannot be answered at the time without some Starlink employee breaking NDA. There is very little publicly available info about Starlink satellites. $\endgroup$ – Dragongeek Oct 24 '19 at 12:26
  • $\begingroup$ Very unlikely that they developed in-house as other companies have this know-how. If they actually had the people, IP, and manufacturing capabilities for it, they would be selling electric thrusters. As an example, EADS Astrium GmbH (Now Airbus Space and Defence) made the Xeon propulsion system onboard the GOCE satellite, more than 10 years ago. In 2018, Thales announced that they'll be building this systems in Belfast. Could even be russian technology. Check this list of spacecraft with electric propulsion $\endgroup$ – Mefitico Oct 24 '19 at 17:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Mefitico I found your currently deleted answer insightful, helpful, and interesting. I wouldn't let a single down-vote scare me into deleting an answer that I thought was helpful. You've clearly labeled your reasoning as educated speculation. Taken together with the linked sources, I think the answer is fine. But, if you think the answer might be wrong, then the status quo is fine. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Oct 25 '19 at 3:28
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh : Given KnudsenNumber's more compelling evidence that points towards my answer being wrong, I rather delete my answer (which if kept could have left me a positive point balance). Investigation with adequately pointed logical gaps is fine for me, but it should make way for better evidence/answers. $\endgroup$ – Mefitico Oct 25 '19 at 4:01
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SpaceX developed a Krypton Hall thruster completely in house. Their experts had experience from other places. I know quite a few of the experts came from the University of Michigan PEPL laboratory. https://www.linkedin.com/in/rafael-martinez-89b0329b/

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The krypton engine used in starlink satellites could have been developed in Poland. at the Institute of Plasma Physics and Laser Mixing. It is important that the working factor is krypton, which is many times cheaper than xenon. http://www.elektroonline.pl/news/4555,Polacy-zbudowali-elektryczny-silnik-plazmowy-napedzany-kryptonem

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you have any references confirming that this really has something to do with SpaceX, or is "could have been developed" just your own conjencture based on the fact that both use krypton? $\endgroup$ – TooTea Jan 8 at 8:56
  • $\begingroup$ These are just clues taken from attached articles, so this is only my presumption. That's why I used the pass-through mode. But this is a tip where you can look for answers. $\endgroup$ – edek z fabryki kredek Jan 8 at 10:03

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