Business

July 10, 2013

Ball Aerospace, Aerojet Rocketdyne complete thruster test for ‘green’ spacecraft fuel

A Green Propellant Infusion Mission technician prepares for 22 Newton firing test.

Ball Aerospace and Aerojet Rocketdyne have met the first milestone in demonstrating a more environmentally friendly spacecraft fuel by completing an end-to-end checkout of the 22 Newton thruster required for NASA’s Green Propellant Infusion Mission.

Ball is leading an industry and government team that will develop and fly the GPIM to demonstrate a high-performance, non-toxic fuel alternative to conventional hydrazine. This will bridge the gap between characterizing the functionality of an integrated propulsion system, and the technology development needed for eventual use of green propellant in space.

The milestone is significant because the 22 Newton thruster will fire simultaneously along with four smaller 1N thrusters to initiate orbit inclination changes and altitude changes. It is also critical for GPIM’s eventual de-orbit upon mission completion.

“The successful first firing of the thruster proves we have the right technology for the mission and are on track for flight development,” said Civil Space and Technologies Vice President and General Manager of Ball, Jim Oschmann.  ”Ball and Aerojet Rocketdyne are demonstrating the innovation needed to develop a fully domestic green propellant solution for the next generation of space flight.”

As the prime contractor and principal investigator, Ball collaborates with a team of co-investigators from Aerojet Rocketdyne, NASA Glenn Research Center, NASA Kennedy Space Center and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Edwards Air Force Base, with additional mission support from the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center at Kirkland Air Force Base.

This is the first time the nation will use a spacecraft to test green propellant technology. The mission propellant, a Hydroxyl Ammonium Nitrate fuel/oxidizer blend, or AF-M315E, offers nearly 50 percent better performance when compared to traditional hydrazine.  Green fuel alternatives also reduce environmental impact and operational hazards, improve launch processing capabilities, increase payload capacity, enhance spacecraft maneuverability and make longer duration missions possible.

“This thruster test is a crucial step toward infusing this green spacecraft propulsion technology into a wide range of government and commercial missions,” said Roger Myers, Aerojet Rocketdyne executive director Electric Propulsion and Integrated Systems.  “Its applications are diverse and its impact on performance will make green propellant a leading choice for future space missions.”

GPIM is a Technology Demonstration Mission under the leadership of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate.  The green propulsion system will fly aboard a Ball Configurable Platform 100 spacecraft bus.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Pratt & Whitney, U.S. Air Force complete qualification for F135 engine testing

Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies Corp. , together with its U.S. Air Force partner at the F135 Heavy Maintenance Center at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., celebrated another significant milestone qualification for F135 engine testing at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex. OC-ALC which in addition to engine testing is also qualified to perform...
 
 

Raytheon begins building critical components for AN/TPY-2 ballistic missile defense radar

The Missile Defense Agency will soon have greater agility and capability in its fleet of AN/TPY-2 ballistic missile defense radars. Raytheon has begun construction of two major sub-components of the AN/TPY-2 under a $53 million contract announced by the Department of Defense on Sept 2. The units Raytheon is building will enable the MDA to...
 
 

Honeywell, Thales to offer next-gen high-speed in-flight connectivity to A350XWB

Honeywell Aerospace and Thales will work together to integrate Honeywell JetWave hardware with Thales cabin network solutions for Airbus A350XWB and other commercial aircraft. The combined offering will give commercial airline operators and their passengers the same connectivity experience in-flight as they would have at home or work ó enabling real-time TV channel viewing, live...
 

 

U.S. Navy awards General Dynamics $16 million for F/A-18 mission computers

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics, has been awarded a $16.2 million contract by the U.S. Navy to produce Type-3 Advanced Mission Computers for the F/A-18 E/A-18G Super Hornet aircraft. Since 2002 General Dynamics has produced, tested and delivered the F/A-18 AMC, which serves as the nerve center of the...
 
 

Boeing, DLA partnership will improve war fighter logistics support

Boeing has received a $293 million performance-based contract from the Defense Logistics Agency to provide aircraft parts and support that will enable DLA to provide essential logistics support to warfighters more quickly and effectively. Boeing proposed a holistic partnership and transformational approach that fundamentally changes the way DLA and Boeing do business,î said Julie Praiss,...
 
 
NG-people

Northrop Grumman appoints vice president

Northrop Grumman has announced the appointment of Tarik Reyes as vice president, business development for its integrated air and missile defense division in its Information Systems sector, effective immediately. In this new rol...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>