Just like the auto sector, space flight goes green by searching for new and sustainable fuel supplies. Currently, it’s eying fuel choices which might be safer to deal with than the extremely poisonous fuel, hydrazine. Last week, Bell Aerospace formally commissioned NASA’s Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) and begun on-orbit testing of a non-poisonous, high-efficiency propellant. The mission introduced on June 25, 2019, at 2:30 a.m. EDT onboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.
“This mission has been an excellent instance of a trade-led group involving multiple NASA facilities, the Air Force and trade companions to test this new high-efficiency fuel utilizing a Ball small satellite,” stated Dr. Makenzie Lystrup, VP and general supervisor, Civil Space, at Ball Aerospace.
The brand new green propellant will probably be an enabling technology for business spaceports operating throughout the US, per NASA.
The green propellant makes fuel loading safer, cheaper, and more powerful and much cost-effective. The mission wishes to shorten ground processing time from weeks to days, which in turn reduces prices, and to simplify constructing and operating satellites. “The space expertise infusion mission further strives to optimize efficiency in new hardware, system and power solutions while guaranteeing the very best value for funding and the safest space projects possible,” NASA claimed.
GPIM is a part of NASA’s Technology Demonstration Missions program within the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD). Ball Aerospace’s Christopher McLean works as the main investigator for this system. In the meantime, thrusters designed and advanced by Aerojet Rocketdyne provide propulsion for the spacecraft.
This system will test the thruster abilities by testing the propulsion subsystem, propellant efficiency, thruster performance, and spacecraft attitude control efficiency over the initial three months. Testing of secondary payloads will take place over the remaining time in the 13-month testing interval.