Most spacecraft use a type of extremely dangerous fuel that includes hydrazine. This means that the fueling process has to be done very carefully and slowly, which can create backlogs.
NASA is about to launch a much safer option though.
NASA is on the verge of testing its spacecraft, the Green Propellant Infusion Mission(GPIM), which replaces hydrazine in its fuel for a greener blend of hydroxyl ammonium nitrate with an oxidizer that allows it to burn.
It’s so safe that they can fuel the spacecraft while they are still building it. It speeds up the process, and remains safe.
To make matters even more exciting, this blend is even more powerful than the regular fuel.
The new, greener and safer fuel offers roughly 50 percent better performance. It will allow spacecrafts to either travel further on the same fuel amount, or keep the amount of fuel carried on missions to a minimum.
The latter would be ideal for space missions to the Moon or Mars because cargo space needs to be carefully designated.
NASA moves fast, and the GPIM is ready to be launched at the end of the month. It will be used on the Falcon Heavy rocket carrying LightSail2, a project to demonstrate controlled solar sailing by using artificial satellites.
If everything goes according to plan, space travel will be re-imagined, safer, and much more efficient.