WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A group of Purdue University students is moving ahead with a project studying how a new type of low-toxicity fuel behaves in zero gravity.
The goal is to properly control the propellant while in weightlessness to cause propellant to wick into the proper positions in the fuel tanks when gravity is absent.
The experiment will be placed in a conventional sounding rocket, and the rocket will be launched into the upper atmosphere. A transparent vessel in the experiment will be used to study how the fuel behaves while in zero gravity.
The students have partnered with rocket maker Aerojet Rocketdyne to demonstrate that the new green propellant, developed by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, can replace hydrazine — a highly toxic fuel that’s often used for rocket launches.
The Purdue Green Propellant Suborbital Test will be launched by NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program on a commercial suborbital rocket flight.