NASA has awarded Aerojet Rocketdyne a contract to support the technology maturity of a CubeSat “green” propulsion system that works to boost maneuverability, safety and performance compared with systems using traditional hydrazine propellants.
Aerojet Rocketdyne said Thursday the AF-M315E green propellant for the MPS-130 propulsion system serves to drive CubeSat and SmallSat development in terms of mission life extension, architecture resiliency and ability to perform proximity operations and formation flying.
“This new class of CubeSat propulsion systems can be used in future NASA, military and commercial missions,” said Eileen Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne president and CEO.
Drake added the propulsion systems will work to update CubeSat and SmallSat in-space functions for public- and private-sector missions.
The company noted it will deliver the MPS-130 green modular propulsion system for flight demonstration as well as development and validation testing.
The system will also feature 3-D printed components using additive manufacturing, which works to accelerate its fabrication and assembly time, Aerojet Rocketdyne said.
NASA awarded the contract under the space technology mission directorate’s Utilizing Public-Private Partnerships to Advance Tipping Point Technologies solicitation designed to further develop technologies beyond their “tipping point” and qualify them for the marketplace.