According to sources, Bengaluru-based Bellatrix Aerospace has developed an environmentally benign propulsion system for satellites that promises a possible 20 percent increase in fuel efficiency for space satellites, cutting a new route away from hydrazine-dependent fuel systems.
Satellite thrusters use the poisonous substance hydrazine, which has a negative influence on the environment, prompting space experts to look for environmentally friendly replacements. Bellatrix’s recent testing of its green propulsion system also signals a turning point in the company’s quest to develop a space taxi for satellites.
“While all rocket fuels can be dangerous to handle without proper safety precautions, our proprietary green propellant has significantly reduced toxicity compared to hydrazine, making it safer to store and handle,” said Karanam.
The business plans to commercialize it as soon as next year. Human space travel missions, according to the business, would be an excellent use case for the green propellant.
According to an announcement from Isro, the union government has approved two unmanned flights and one crewed expedition as part of the Rs 9,023-crore Gaganyaan mission. Should green propellants be explored for human flight missions, they would result in faster processing times and fewer handling needs, both of which are important roles in a crewed human flight mission.
Bellatrix is one of a slew of new-age space technology businesses in India that have raised venture funding to go to new heights in the worldwide competition for better space programs. In June 2019, the IDFC Parampara-led business formed by IISc got pre-series A funding. Bellatrix is part of a crop that includes Agnikul Cosmos, Pixxel, Skyroot Aerospace, and others, all of which are attracting investor attention in the field’s early stages.