Home / Space News Daily / Ball Aerospace Successfully Commissions Small Satellite, Begins On-Orbit Testing Of Green Fuel

Ball Aerospace Successfully Commissions Small Satellite, Begins On-Orbit Testing Of Green Fuel

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Ball Aerospace commissions small satellite tv for pc for NASA’s Inexperienced Propellant Infusion Mission, begins on-orbit testing of propellant. Picture Credit score: Ball Aerospace

July 5, 2019 – Ball Aerospace has formally commissioned NASA’s Inexperienced Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) and begun on-orbit testing of a non-toxic, high-performance propellant. GPIM launched on June 25, 2019 at 12:30 a.m. MDT on board a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. 

“We’re excited for the chance to advance in-space
propulsion for your entire consumer neighborhood, which has the potential to
propel area mission planning into a brand new period,” mentioned Dr. Makenzie Lystrup,
vice chairman and normal supervisor, Civil Area, Ball Aerospace. “This
mission has been a superb instance of an industry-led staff involving
a number of NASA facilities, the Air Power and companions to check this
new high-performance gasoline utilizing a Ball small satellite tv for pc.”

Ball designed and constructed the small satellite tv for pc, which comprises
NASA’s first alternative to reveal the sensible capabilities of a
“inexperienced” propellant and propulsion system in orbit – an alternative choice to
standard chemical propulsion programs. The propellant, known as
AF-M315E, is a Hydroxyl Ammonium Nitrate gasoline and oxidizer
monopropellant developed by the Air Power Analysis Laboratory.

GPIM is a part of NASA’s Know-how Demonstration Missions program throughout the Area Know-how Mission Directorate (STMD), and Christopher McLean
of Ball Aerospace serves because the principal investigator. Aerojet
Rocketdyne designed and constructed the thrusters for GPIM that present
propulsion for the spacecraft.

“The profitable commissioning of
our thrusters and propulsion system is a optimistic step towards totally
qualifying our inexperienced propulsion system in area,” mentioned Joe Cassady,
govt director of area at Aerojet Rocketdyne. “This know-how
will allow propulsive capabilities for a brand new era of small
satellites, together with new mission capabilities.”

Over the following
13 months, Ball Aerospace and its companions will take a look at the thruster
capabilities by verifying the propulsion subsystem, propellant
efficiency, thruster efficiency and spacecraft perspective management
efficiency. The first mission of testing the thrusters and gasoline will
be full inside three months adopted by testing of the secondary
science payloads.

Because the prime contractor for GPIM, Ball
Aerospace is answerable for system engineering; flight thruster
efficiency verification; floor and flight knowledge evaluate; spacecraft bus;
meeting, integration and take a look at; and launch and flight help. GPIM
makes use of the Ball Configurable Platform (BCP) small satellite tv for pc, which is
in regards to the dimension of a mini fridge and was in-built simply 46 days. The
BCP small satellite tv for pc offers normal payload interfaces and
streamlined procedures, permitting speedy and reasonably priced entry to area
with flight-proven efficiency. There are at present two BCP small
satellites acting on orbit: STPSat-2, which launched in November 2010, and STPSat-Three, which launched in November 2013. The 2 STP satellites have been constructed for the U.S. Air Power Area Take a look at Program’s Commonplace Interface Car (STP-SIV) venture.

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