Engineers in Ohio to test safer space propellant

6:51 PM, Nov 24, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND - A government-industry team including engineers from government facilities in Ohio will be testing a space propellant that researchers say would be safer and more efficient than the toxic fuel now powering satellite and spacecraft thrusters.

The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer (http://bit.ly/QQyF1K) reports the test project aims to fly a small unmanned spacecraft in 2015 with modified thrusters powered by an experimental alternative fuel.

NASA, military and commercial satellites now use thrusters fueled with the toxic propellant hydrazine to hold or alter their positions.

Engineers at Cleveland's NASA Glenn Research Center and Dayton's Air Force Research Lab will be helping test the alternative fuel as part of a $45 million venture. If the alternative fuel performs as hoped, officials say it could pave the way for cheaper, cleaner satellites and spacecraft.

The Associated Press

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