[Satellite TODAY 08-17-12] NASA
has selected Ball Aerospace
to lead a team that will conduct a technology demonstration of a high-performance “green” propellant alternative to hydrazine fuel, Ball Aerospace announced Aug. 16.
While many view hydrazine as an efficient propellant that can be stored for long periods of time, NASA believes the fuel is highly corrosive and toxic and has been seeking new, non-toxic propellants that could be safely and widely used by various sectors. The possible “green” propellants include: liquid; solid; mono-propellants; bi-propellants; and hybrids that offer safer handling conditions and lower environmental impact than current fuels.
“High-performance green propellant has the potential to revolutionize how we travel to, from and in space,” NASA Space Technology Program Director Michael Gazarik said in a statement. “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.”