- Category: Technology
16 Aug 2012
- Published on Thursday, 16 August 2012 11:48
- Hits (1784)
A third party manufacturer has been chosen by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to demonstrate a high performance "green" propellant alternative to the highly toxic fuel hydrazine, signaling the entry into a new era of innovative and nontoxic green fuels.
The Green Propellant Infusion Mission proposal done by a team led by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation of Boulder, Colorado – the one chosen for the demo – is expected to be developed and flown in approximately three years.
"High performance green propellant has the potential to revolutionize how we travel to, from and in space," said Michael Gazarik, director of NASA's Space Technology Program. "An effective green rocket fuel would dramatically reduce the cost and time for preparing and launching space missions while decreasing pollution and harm to our environment."
A funding of $45 million for the mission will be provided by the agency’s Space Technology Program, with some additional cost-sharing from other agencies involved.
The demo will “bridge the gap” between technology development and use of the green propellant, by characterizing in space the functionality of the integrated propulsion system. “Such a demonstration will provide the aerospace community with a new system-level capability for future missions,” the press release said.