Non-toxic Monopropulsion Set For Test on ISS

Innovative Space Propulsion Systems will test a green, high-performance mono-propulsion technology called NOFBX® at the International Space Station late next year.

One of the company’s partners, Odyssey Space Research, has posted the following note on its website:

We are pleased to announce that Odyssey is part of the winning Innovative Space Propulsion Systems (ISPS) team selected to develop and perform a NOFBX® flight experiment at the International Space Station in late 2012. The award was made under the ISS National Lab Broad Agency Announcement. Odyssey will perform flight support equipment development and integration, as well as flight software, operations, and key administrative and programmatic functions.

NOFBX is being promoted as a “game changing” technology with the following characteristics:

  • constituents are widely available from chemical suppliers, inexpensive and safe to handle.
  • can be transported and handled without undue precautions or hazards.
  • effluents are non-toxic and produces no accumulated deposits or contamination.
  • propulsion system has high Isp (320-340 s) – similar to the most common bi-propellant.
  • has far better lift capability than the current workhorse monopropellant, hydrazine.
  • is tolerant to a wide thermal range; storable at room temperature on the ground and is Space Storable.
  • will significantly lower cost compared to existing propulsion systems of comparable performance.
  • is monopropellant, which significantly reduces the need for auxiliary hardware, saving cost, volume, and mass for launch systems.
  • use cool running thrusters that dramatically reduce thermal design challenges.
  • burns in liquid, gas, and two-phase flow.
  • does not have the materials compatibility constraints of traditional hypergolic systems.

Innovative Space Propulsion Systems, which is based in Houston, is a partnership of: Odyssey Space Research; Firestar Technologies, LLC; Ventions, LLC; Micro Cooling Concepts (MC2); mv2Space; and Lightning Aircraft Corporation.