NASA Tests Safer Rocket Fuel, Less Toxic To Living Organisms

You may have never thought about this but, the fuel that powers most of the spacecraft today is exceptionally toxic to living organisms.

This is normally not such a great deal when you are sending something into space, but it can definitely pose a risk if a mishap results in a spacecraft crashing back down to Earth.

Not to mention the fact that this is also a highly massive obstacle for the engineers who are working closely with space-bound hardware on a daily basis.

Safer and more powerful fuel alternative 

NASA seems to have been working really hard to find an alternative and now, BGR reports that the space agency might have a fix for all of this in the form of a new “green” fuel alternative that is able to swap highly toxic hydrazine with a new formulation that is much safer and even more powerful than the modern fuel for rockets.

NASA’s official blog post notes that “a non-toxic, rosé-colored liquid could fuel the future in space and propel missions to the Moon or other worlds.”

The same blog post notes that the space agency will test the fuel and the compatible propulsion system in space for the first time with the Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM).

They also note that this is set to launch this month on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.

The space agency noted that this mission would demonstrate “the exceptional features of a high-performance “green” fuel developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Edwards Air Force Base in California.”

This blends “hydroxyl ammonium nitrate with an oxidizer that allows it to burn, creating an alternative to hydrazine, the highly toxic fuel commonly used by spacecraft today.”

This new safer fuel is also reportedly 50% more efficient than the more toxic option, and this will give spacecraft enhanced freedom to maneuver or to travel more extended distances with the very same amount of fuel.