The green fuel that will be used for the GPIM was developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory in California.
NASA has taken a major step in becoming more environmentally friendly by developing a non-toxic fuel that will be used in a future mission through upcoming launch of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy spacecraft. The greener fuel alternative still needs to be handled with care but doesn't require the same incredibly strict rules as its predecessor.
You may have never thought about this but, the fuel that powers most of the spacecraft today is exceptionally toxic to living organisms.
The STP-2 Mission scheduled to launch on June 24 will be the first to demonstrate the new Green fuel. It's the result of NASA's Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM), which was tasked with creating an alternative to conventional chemical propulsion systems. Handling the toxic hydrazine requires significant precautions, including gloves, full body suits, and even oxygen masks. The new propellant features a mixture of hydroxyl ammonium nitrate and an oxidizer.
It is sufficiently safe that you could fuel a rocket while you're still building it, increasing the speed of the process.
This new safer fuel is also reportedly 50% more efficient than the more toxic option, and this will give spacecraft enhanced freedom to maneuver or to travel more extended distances with the very same amount of fuel.
You won't have to wait long to see how well the fuel works.
The GPIM will be able to fully test the new fuel after it launches as a payload for the STP-2 mission through SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket. As a final, and arguably most important bonus, Green fuel is much denser than the old hydrazine-dependent fuel.
Karen and her husband live on a plot of land in British Columbia. They are also now planning a move to a small cabin they hand built. Thus sprung Anna's interest in backyard gardening, chicken and goat keeping, recycling and self-sufficiency.