EMCORE Allies With ATK on "Green Fuel" Mission for NASA

Editor's note: The new AF-M315E propellant is being developed and tested by GenCorp subsidiary Aerojet. A previous version of this story stated otherwise. The Fool regrets the error.

Following on ATK's announcement of a successful test of its new rocket thruster powered by a "green" ammonium dinitramide, water, methanol, and ammonia-based propellant, a second company has announced plans to help out ATK in a real-world test of similar technology by yet a third company.

Solar components maker EMCOREannounced Tuesday that ATK has contracted it to build solar panels, which ATK will then integrate into solar arrays, which will in turn power a planned Ball Corporation satellite after it has launched. Said satellite will launch in 2015 to carry out tests of a new type of propellant and thrusters developed by GenCorp subsidiary Aerojet as an alternative to the use of environmentally hazardous hydrazine propellant.

Ball will have primary responsibility for this "Green Propellant Infusion Mission" (GPIM). The primary purpose of the mission is to test Aerojet's AF-M315E Hydroxyl Ammonium Nitrate (HAN) fuel/oxidizer blend for efficacy as a replacement propellant.


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