Pale Blue



Pale Blue successfully operates its water-based propulsion system in orbit

Tokyo (Mar. 13, 2023) – Pale Blue succeeded in operating the water vapor propulsion system (resistojet) in low earth orbit. Pale Blue’s propulsion system was installed on “EYE,” a nano-satellite for STAR SPHERE Project, and tested for the first time in space. Going forward, the company will innovate and expand the commercial use of its water-based propulsion systems for small satellites.


Pale Blue’s water-based propulsion system aboard “EYE” was launched by SpaceX on January 3rd 2023 and has been currently orbiting earth in LEO. The propulsion system operated for approximately 2 minutes on March 3rd 2023, and the company confirmed successful thrust from the obtained data.


STAR SPHERE Project, led by Sony Group Corporation, is planning to roll out a space photography service in 2023. The satellite will use Pale Blue’s thruster to enter the target orbit before service launch.


“Pale Blue successfully developed and operated its water-based thruster, and with this, the company takes a huge step forward towards orbit insertion for STAR SPHERE Project,” said Jun Asakawa, CEO and Co-Founder of Pale Blue. “We feel a strong significance in this project, which creates new values through the perspective of space and provides opportunities to learn about the Earth and its environment. We will continue technological innovation to create mobility capabilities that are core to the space industry and pioneer the expansion of human possibility.”


CEO and Co-Founder of Pale Blue

The product specifications of Pale Blue’s water thruster aboard “EYE”

– Size: 9.0cm x 12.1cm x 12.1cm

– Wet mass: 1.4 kg

– Power: 22 W (typical / ground testing)

– Thrust: 5.6 mN (typical / ground testing)


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About STAR SPHERE Project

Official website:

Challenging new frontiers through the power of technology, Sony will open “the perspectives of space” to unlock inspiring exploration – and deliver “inspiring space experiences” across the globe through the power of entertainment. This new perspective has the power to change human consciousness and unleash infinite ideas and creativity.


About Pale Blue

Pale Blue is a space startup from the University of Tokyo founded in 2020. The company is dedicated to thrusters innovation for small satellites that use water as a propellant. Through its water-based propulsion technology, Pale Blue aims to develop a space ecosystem where in-space mobility is not only affordable but completely safe to both humans and the surrounding environment.

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Emily Okuhara, Manager of Marketing & Communications of Pale Blue