Potential NASA applications of both the 5N and 100N green monopropellant thrusters include missions to low Earth orbits and beyond. Near-term examples are the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) at GEO, the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) at GEO, the International X-ray Observatory (IXO) at L2, and the next Mars robotics mission scheduled for 2020 launch. As with state-of-the-art reaction control rockets Busek's green monopropellant thrusters are radiation-cooled and restart-able, making them a simple yet reliable propulsion option. In addition, the green propellant's storability and low-toxicity will be attractive for NASA's future manned spaceflight. Without the need for excessive safety measures, overall operational cost for the manned missions will be reduced.
The market size for green monopropellant thrusters is very large. In addition to NASA, all branches of the military are interested in deploying them for tactical or in-space applications. The non-toxic storable feature of the propellant enables preloaded propulsion systems that can accommodate rapid launch operations. Because Busek's thrusters have the potential for extended life without performance degradation, developers of GEO communication satellites will likely consider them for both reaction control and primary propulsion. This versatility will help broaden market access. A successful Phase II program will lead to direct sales or licensing of the thrusters and the associated catalyst technology.