Ball Aerospace has deployed a small satellite for launching aboard SpaceXâ€™s Falcon Heavy vehicle as part of NASAâ€™s Green Propellant Infusion Mission to demonstrate AF-M315E, a low-toxic â€œgreenâ€ monopropellant developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory.
As the missionâ€™s prime contractor, Ball Aerospace is responsible for overseeing the performance of the flight thruster, evaluating ground and flight data, providing flight support and manufacturing the spacecraft bus, a Ball Configurable Platform small satellite that enables efficient procedures in order to allow fast access to space at a lower cost.
Serving as GPIMâ€™s prime contractor Ball Aerospace is working as part of a team that includes AFRL, the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Aerojet Rocketdyne and three NASA centers.
Makenzie Lystrup, vice president and general manager of civil space at Ball Aerospace, said the company is also working on smallsats to support NASAâ€™s â€œImaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorerâ€ and â€œSpectro Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorerâ€ missions.
Ball Aerospace previously deployed two smallsats for the Air Forceâ€™s Space Test Program Standard Interface Vehicle initiative and helped develop Ion Velocity Meters to support a joint effort between the Air Force, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other research entities.