Letter from Bradford Space to City re thruster testing at airport

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
February 8, 2022


For those of you who have difficulty understanding just what sort of activity Bradford Space is proposing (see recent FO article), the Fernandina Observer provides their letter of intent dated January 28, 2022.  In a separate email Bradford’s Chief of Production and Advanced Systems Christian Carpenter wrote:

“Due to printer backlog, I will not have time to make the thruster and ship it to you.  However, just to provide a sense of scale, it’s about the size of two coffee cups stacked on top of each other.”

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Mark Tomes
Mark Tomes(@mtomes)
1 year ago

Not sure how much fuel they will use, but let it be known that burning kerosene is not clean and certainly is not good for the environment. Bradford Space is doing a bit of greenwashing here.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mark Tomes
Peter Usher
Peter Usher (@guest_63855)
1 year ago

I am not opposed to development at the airport, but I am very concerned about noise. “Thruster” sounds like a rocket engine to me. I hope the City investigates this issue closely BEFORE they go forward.

Doug Mowery
Doug Mowery(@douglasm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Usher

Peter…….there was another article (the original Suanne describes) last week that showed the expected decibel footprint of the static tests of the small thrusters. This was showed to the FBCC before their 4-1 vote to approve the project. From that diagram I can’t see how noise would be an issue. The setup will be on the far side of the airport where cars occasionally race a circuit.

C. Clare
C. Clare (@guest_63859)
1 year ago

This island needs no more noise and no more fumes…and really…no more people!

Tim Wiest
Tim Wiest(@weaselfruit)
1 year ago

Pardon my physics:

Keep in mind this thruster is not a launch engine. It is on board a satellite and will help it to maneuver in frictionless space. 400N equals 88 lbf (Bradford rounded up to 100 lbf).
To put this in perspective, 1 Horsepower is the ability to raise 550 lb up 1 foot in 1 second. The average small lawnmower has a 2 HP motor. A small leaf blower has a 3 HP motor.
This thruster is ~1/6 HP (88 lbf / 550 lbf), much smaller than your neighbor’s yard tools.
The noise will be undetectable outside the airport perimeter.