Ball Aerospace and Aerojet Rocketdyne Complete Thruster Test for "Green" Spacecraft Fuel

   Ball Aerospace and Aerojet Rocketdyne Complete Thruster Test for "Green"
                               Spacecraft Fuel

Green Propellant Infusion Mission high-performance propellant on track for
flight development

PR Newswire

BOULDER, Colo., July 9, 2013

BOULDER, Colo., July 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Ball Aerospace and Aerojet
Rocketdyne have met the first milestone in demonstrating a more
environmentally friendly spacecraft fuel by completing an end-to-end checkout
of the 22 Newton thruster required for NASA's Green Propellant Infusion
Mission (GPIM).



Ball is leading an industry and government team that will develop and fly the
GPIM to demonstrate a high-performance, non-toxic fuel alternative to
conventional hydrazine. This will bridge the gap between characterizing the
functionality of an integrated propulsion system, and the technology
development needed for eventual use of green propellant in space.

The milestone is significant because the 22 Newton thruster will fire
simultaneously along with four smaller 1N thrusters to initiate orbit
inclination changes and altitude changes. It is also critical for GPIM's
eventual de-orbit upon mission completion.

"The successful first firing of the thruster proves we have the right
technology for the mission and are on track for flight development," said
Civil Space and Technologies Vice President and General Manager of Ball, Jim
Oschmann. "Ball and Aerojet Rocketdyne are demonstrating the innovation
needed to develop a fully domestic green propellant solution for the next
generation of space flight."

As the prime contractor and principal investigator, Ball collaborates with a
team of co-investigators from Aerojet Rocketdyne, NASA Glenn Research Center,
NASA Kennedy Space Center and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at
Edwards Air Force Base, with additional mission support from the U.S. Air
Force Space and Missile Systems Center at Kirkland Air Force Base.

This is the first time the nation will use a spacecraft to test green
propellant technology. The mission propellant, a Hydroxyl Ammonium Nitrate
(HAN) fuel/oxidizer blend, or AF-M315E, offers nearly 50 percent better
performance when compared to traditional hydrazine. Green fuel alternatives
also reduce environmental impact and operational hazards, improve launch
processing capabilities, increase payload capacity, enhance spacecraft
maneuverability and make longer duration missions possible.

"This thruster test is a crucial step toward infusing this green spacecraft
propulsion technology into a wide range of government and commercial
missions," said Roger Myers, Aerojet Rocketdyne executive director Electric
Propulsion and Integrated Systems. "Its applications are diverse and its
impact on performance will make green propellant a leading choice for future
space missions."

GPIM is a Technology Demonstration Mission under the leadership of NASA's
Space Technology Mission Directorate. The green propulsion system will fly
aboard a Ball Configurable Platform (BCP) 100 spacecraft bus.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. supports critical missions for national
agencies such as the Department of Defense, NASA, NOAA and other U.S.
government and commercial entities. The company develops and manufactures
spacecraft, advanced instruments and sensors, components, data exploitation
systems and RF solutions for strategic, tactical and scientific applications.
For more information, visit

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solutions for beverage, food and household products customers, as well as
aerospace and other technologies and services primarily for the U.S.
government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ 15,000 people
worldwide and reported 2012 sales of more than $8.7billion. For more
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SOURCE Ball Aerospace

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