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The pressure to "go green" will soon travel outside of our horizon and into space.
NASA's Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) is currently scheduled to launch on June 24 on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket as part of a technology-testing mission dubbed STP-2. GPIM, a small, box-shaped spacecraft powered by green technology, will test out a low-toxicity propellant in space for the first time, according to NASA. The clean propellant, a hydroxyl ammonium nitrate fuel/oxidizer mix called AF-M315E, will serve as an alternative to hydrazine, a highly toxic compound used in rocket fuel to power satellites and spacecraft.
Technology - Protections - Personnel - Environment - Costs
"It's important that we develop technology that increases protections for launch personnel and the environment, and that has the potential to reduce costs," Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator of NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, said in a statement.
Related: NASA Atomic Clock on SpaceX Falcon Heavy to Test Mars Travel Tech
GPIM - NASA - Total - Works - Years
GPIM, which cost NASA a total of $65 million, has been in the works for years now and passed its first thruster pulsing test in 2013. This month marks another step toward the agency's goal of providing a sustainable and efficient alternative fuel for spaceflight.
Right now, most spacecraft run on hydrazine, but NASA's...
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