Green rocket thruster technology tested

May 20, 2013 at 11:08 AM

ARLINGTON, Va., May 20 (UPI) -- The first testing in the United States of high-performance green propulsion thruster technology has been performed by rocket motor producer ATK.

HPGP is a green alternative to hydrazine propulsion technology. ATK says it is safer and more cost-effective in terms of storage, material handling, transportation and launch-site processing.

The testing, for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, was conducted last month at ATK's facility in Elkton, Md.

"The collaboration of NASA GSFC and ATK to validate HPGP thruster technology enables the development of green propellant options, which hold promise for demonstrating higher performance, cost-effectiveness and the reduction of health and safety impacts to personnel and the environment," said Christyl Johnson, NASA GSFC deputy director for Technology and Research Investments.

HPGP thrusters and fuel were originally developed by ECAPS, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Swedish Space Corp. and ATK is licensed in the United States to sell the products.

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