NASA has chosen Ball Aerospace Technology Corporation to develop “green” propellant technology for replacing hydrazine, a highly toxic fuel used for rockets, satellites, and spacecrafts.
It was announced August 15 that NASA awarded the Colorado-based firm with the $45 million Space Technology Program funded mission to develop green propellant that can be used in about three years.
NASA’s Space Technology Program director Michael Gazarik said that a green rocket fuel could reduce the cost and time needed for space missions.
NASA said the green propellant can be liquid, solid, monopropellant and can either use one fuel source or a hybrid.
Ball said that the program can “bridge the gap between technology development and use of green propellant.”
NASA is opening a “new era of innovative and non-toxic green fuels that are less harmful to our environment, have fewer operational hazards, and decrease the complexity and cost of launch processing.”
Aside from Ball Aerospace, the Green Propellant Infusion Mission team includes Aerojet Corporation, the US Air Force Research Laboratory, the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, NASA’s Glenn Research Center, and Kennedy Space Center.