The satellite thrusters work with hydrazine, a toxic compound known to have a serious environmental impact, prompting space researchers to seek greener alternatives. Bellatrix’s recent tests of its green propulsion system also mark a key turning point in the startup’s journey in building a space taxi system for satellites.
“While all rocket fuel 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 startup would soon move it to commercialization and try to turn it into a product within the next year. The company believes that human spaceflight missions would also be an ideal use case candidate for the green propellant.
Isro said the union government has approved two unmanned missions and one manned expedition as part of the Rs 9,023 crore Gaganyaan mission, according to a statement. If green propellant progress were to be considered for human flight missions, it would lead to shorter processing times and a reduction in the number of handling requirements, both of which are critical functions in a manned human flight mission.
Bellatrix is part of a series of new age space tech startups in India that have taken venture capital funds to reach important frontiers in a global race for better space programs. The startup founded by IISc received the pre-series A in June 2019 led by IDFC Parampara. Bellatrix belongs to the crop populated by the likes of Agnikul Cosmos, Pixxel, Skyroot Aerospace and others who are attracting investor interest in the fledgling field.
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Research institutes like IISc have made discoveries in the Bellatrix field has made a dent, the researchers say.
‘Green propulsion work is hugely important as the world is rapidly shifting towards green chemicals and alignment with the latest developments is important for our country,’ said Professor Charlie Oommen, lead science-propulsion researcher at the Indian Institute of Science. “Isro had announced that it will work towards the use of green fuels in all of its future missions and the green fuel recently tested by Bellatrix Aerospace is extremely promising as it offers both benign handling facilities and higher performance than conventionally used toxic chemicals. such as hydrazine “.