The SteamJet Space Steam TunaCan Thruster is a water-based, electrothermal propulsion system specifically designed for CubeSats.

The tailored shape factor has been designed to allow installation in the TunaCan volume, available in many CubeSats deployers. It is integrated outside of the main CubeSat structure.

The system uses low-pressure water as the main propellant, for added safety and simplified operation, and is designed to be easily integrated into any satellite.

The Steam TunaCan Thruster can be operated at a power level between 5W to 20W, depending on the CubeSat’s resource availability. The size and shape of the water tanks can also be customized in order to suit different satellite setups and structures. The technology also causes no RF interference.

The system can be used for de-orbiting, constellation management, collision avoidance, and a range of other manoeuvres, and is space-qualified according to ESA ECSS-E-ST-10-03C and NASA GSFC-STD-7000A.

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Last updated: 2022-05-25

Steam TunaCan Thruster




lead time
3 to 6 mo
wet mass
540 g
propellant mass
130 g
80 mm
80 mm
9 to 14 V DC
power consumption
0.12 W (idle)
< 19.9 W (thrusting)
propellant type
nominal thrust
6 mN
specific impulse
172 s
total impulse
219 N s
minimum impulse bit
10 mN s
data interface


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