SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon Heavy Rocket on June 24, featuring the use, for the first time, of low-toxin high-performance green fuel, in place of hydrazine, the conventional rocket fuel with high toxin.
The new fuel, dubbed AF-M315E, is a mixture of CTE hydroxyl ammonium nitrate and oxidant, which has been developed by NASA, the U.S. air force, and the two U.S. firms, Ball Aerospace and Aerojet Rocketdyn, jointly.
In addition to lowering the impact on the environment, the green fuel can be filled during the manufacturing process for the rocket, cutting costs and streamlining the launch process. In addition, with a higher density, its burning efficiency is 50% better than hydrazine. Previously, rigorous precautions, including the use of protective clothes and gloves, and safety measures, had to be made for filling hydrazine fuel, which, as a carcinogen, is corrosive, flammable, and harmful to humans.
Alongside the use of the new fuel, the propulsor, fuel tank, filter, and valve of the rocket have all been redesigned and engine retested.
In the third mission, the SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket carried more than 20 satellites, the Deep Space Atomic Clock of NASA, and the solar energy-powered Lightsail 2, which is the latest part of the STP-2 mission of the U.S. air force.
(Collaborative media: TechNews, first photo courtesy of NASA)