Can you give some examples of green technologies applied to space?

HPGP thruster

The additive manufacturing technologies make it possible to consume only the material needed to build a part, without producing the massive amount of swarf that has to be recycled when using conventional machining. These processes furthermore limit the use of side tooling and can reduce significantly the number of parts to be assembled or welded. Inspection activities concerning these joints can therefore be done away with. Parts can be designed to be lighter and can be made to measure, which has the potential to increase the scientific payload of satellites. ESA currently has several activities for development of space hardware using additive manufacturing (e.g. RF antennas, thruster chambers and injectors, ____). 

Green Propulsion – Green propellants have low toxicity, which reduces risk to personnel and the environment. A green propulsion system was demonstrated on Sweden’s Prisma satellite. ESA has been working on green propulsion technologies for more than a decade. Numerous development activities are currently in progress and a comprehensive roadmap has been established.

Furthermore, information gathered during monitoring for environmental legislation compliance will be used to prepare for and mitigate possible supply chain disruptions, through the development of alternative materials and processes.

Last update: 25 July 2013

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