ESA Studies Green Satellite Propellants

Candidate ‘green’ satellite propellants within a temperature-controlled incubator, undergoing heating as a way to simulate the speeding up of time. (Credit: European Astrotech Ltd.)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Today hydrazine is the most common propellant employed by thrusters aboard satellites: it is highly energetic in nature but also toxic and corrosive, as well as dangerous to handle and store. ESA initiated a study with European Astrotech Ltd in the UK to look into greener propellants and propulsion systems, to provide comparable performance with reduced toxicity and handling costs.

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