The agency is seeking innovative and transformative green propulsion less harmful to the environment and for this purpose is working with American companies.
Hydrazine is the usually used because is efficient and ubiquitous propellant that can be stored long periods of time with disadvantage of excessive highly corrosive. NASA agency announced that this usual kind of propellant is used only on commercial and defense department satellites for science and exploration missions. From now on they are looking for green propellant alternative propulsion.
Michael Gazarik, the director of NASA’s Space Technology Program said that: “High performance green propulsion has the potential to significantly change how we travel in space,” and it also stated that: “NASA’s Space Technology Program seeks out these sort of cross-cutting, innovative technologies to enable our future missions while also providing benefit to the American space industry. By reducing the hazards of handling fuel, we can reduce ground processing time and lower costs for rocket launches, allowing a greater community of researchers and technologists access to the high frontier.”
New spaces technology by using green propellant solutions is significantly challenging from cost, schedule and risk perspective. NASA has established the Technology Demonstration Missions Program to perform this function, bridging the gap between laboratory confirmation of a technology and its initial use on an operational mission.
NASA anticipates making one or more awards in response to this solicitation, with no single award exceeding $50 million. Final awards will be made based on the strength of proposals and availability of funds with a deadline for submitting proposals in April 30 this year.