NASA C-POD Micro CubeSat Propulsion System

VACCO’s NASA C-POD Micro Propulsion System is a self-contained unit designed to occupy the center of a 3U CubeSat. A total of eight thrusters in groups of two at four corners of the module allows for precise rendezvous and proximity operations with full CubeSat attitude control.

The NASA CubeSat propulsion module uses R236fa propellant, which self-pressurizes over the normal operating temperature range and helps to ensure range safety. This smart system is designed to interface with the spacecraft through an RS422 data bus for command and control.

The NASA C-POD Micro CubeSat Propulsion System can be scaled down from 0.8U based upon the mission and payload requirements.


  • Inherently safe non-toxic R236fa propellant
  • Two seals against leakage of propellant
  • Eight fast response, low power 10 mN cold gas thrusters
  • Smart system with integral electronic controller
  • Aluminum construction
    • Light weight
    • Ensures destruction during re-entry
  • Proportional heater and temperature sensor for precise control of propellant pressure

NASA C-POD Micro Propulsion System Data Sheet pdf-icon

Operating Parameters

Operating Temperature Range 0°C to 60°C Total Impulse 186 N-sec
Operating Voltage 9 to 12.6 vdc Nominal Continuous Thrust 10 mN +/-
2 mN
Max Standby Power Consumption 0.25 watts Minimal Impulse Bit 0.50 mN-sec
Max Steady-State Power 5 watts Thruster Valve Response <2 mSec
Specific Impulse (Isp) 40 s Estimated Weight with Propellant 1,244 grams

Performance characteristics are based on customer requirements. As such, they are not representative of component capabilities or limitations.

Thruster Locations

Envelope Drawing

Flow Schematic