NASA has announced that they're seeking proposals for green propellant alternatives to the currently-used and highly-toxic fuel hyrdrazine. The space agency is asking for demonstrations of propellant technology that can perform as well as traditional fuels in future spacecraft, but have a much smaller impact on the environment and are less hazardous for those handling the fuel.
Hydrazine is efficient, can be stored for long periods of time and is used widely in satellite and science and exploration missions, but it costs the agency in processing times and extreme operational hazards because of its highly corrosive and toxic nature. NASA is hoping that a new propellant technology can be found that eliminates those hurdles (i.e. saves money) and possibly even improves performance.
Through its Technology Demonstration Missions Program, the agency will be accepting proposals until April 30 and then giving out at least one award to the best among the submissions that could be worth up to $50 million.
written by Belfast Skips, February 27, 2012
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