Ball Aerospace has commenced on-orbit trials of the non-toxic AF-M315E propellant as part of NASA’s Green Propellant Infusion Mission.
The company delivered the small satellite that uses the non-toxic propellant made by Air Force Research Laboratory and will work with partners to test the GPIM’s thruster, propellant and spacecraft attitude control performance over a 13-month period, Ball Aerospace said Friday.
Three months of testing will cover thrusters and fuel functions, and succeeding months will focus on secondary scientific payloads.
“We are excited for the opportunity to advance in-space propulsion for the entire user community, which has the potential to propel space industry mission planning into a new era,” said Makenzie Lystrup, vice president and general manager for civil space at Ball Aerospace.
The mission launched on June 25 with a SpaceX-made Falcon Heavy rocket.