by Lance Davis NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center
NASA just validated a new type of propellant, or fuel, for spacecraft of all sizes. Instead of toxic hydrazine, space missions can use a less toxic, “green” propellant and the compatible technologies designed to go along with it. In a little over a year since launch, NASA’s Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) successfully proved a never-before-used propellant and propulsion system work as intended, demonstrating both are practical options for future missions.
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFRL PR) – A recently signed Air Force Research Laboratory patent licensing agreement will enable commercialization of a green alternative to hydrazine for spacecraft propulsion.
The AFRL Aerospace Systems Directorate (AFRL/RQ) signed a patent license agreement with Digital Solid State Propulsion Inc., a small business located in Reno, Nevada. Under the agreement, the company will produce and sell the Air Force developed monopropellant, AF-M315E. The PLA was coupled with a cooperative research and development agreement that allows AFRL scientists to collaborate with the company to provide technical knowledge and advice.