Almost all of the spacecraft rely on a fuel that has hydrazine in it. This kind of fuel is considered quite dangerous, and the fueling process has to be carried out very slowly and with extra care. This results in backlogs. Enter NASA with its ready to launch a safer option for fuel!
NASA is on the cusp of carrying out tests of its spacecraft, the Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM), that will make use of fuel where the hydrazine has been replaced with a greener mix of hydroxylammonium nitrate along with an oxidizer that allows it to burn.
According to the reports, the fuel is so safe that NASA can actually fuel the spacecraft while it is undergoing construction. This not only speeds up the process but also enhances the safety of everyone involved. As if all of this was not enough to convince us that this fuel is a better alternative; this particular blend is said to be much more powerful than the conventional fuel.
This, greener and newer, fuel provides performance that is fifty percent better than the regular fuel. It will allow the spacecraft to cover more distance on the same amount of fuel or can also help reduce the weight by removing the excess fuel, thus cutting down the costs. It will also prove highly beneficial because space missions to Mars or Moon require the cargo space to be designated very carefully and objectively.
The Green Propellant Infusion Mission is all set for launch later this month. It will be used on the Falcon Heavy Rocket that will be carrying LightSail2. The project is aimed at demonstrating controlled solar sailing by utilizing artificial satellites.
If all goes well, we could be looking at space travel that is not only safer but also cheaper! What do you think about this new fuel?