Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Video: Does The Future Belong To Methane Rockets?

SpaceToys.com Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas
Although they may not reduce the cost of space, they may reduce the amount of space usually reserved for fuel tanks, allowing space craft to dedicate more weight towards either transporting more humans and equipment.

(Space.com) Built by XCOR Aerospace, the test rocket packs 7,500 pounds of thrust--just a fraction of the space shuttle's solid rocket boosters at 3,300,000 pounds of thrust each--but its designers are just getting started. The Mojave Desert test will provide testing grounds for the design of a much-larger, space-faring rocket.

Today's space rockets use liquid oxygen and hydrogen or solid fuels, which are hard to collect, tricky to store and very expensive. Methane, however, need not be stored at -253 degree Celsius temperatures as hydrogen must be. It's also denser than hydrogen, making more out of limited space in fuel containers.

Despite the fact that hydrogen rockets dominate the space fuel industry on Earth, methane rockets may in the distant future overshadow their molecular brethren.

With the greenish-bluish-orange worlds of Uranus, Neptune and Saturn's Titan containing an abundance of methane within their respective atmospheres, methane may end up becoming the fuel that drives our species to conquer the solar system.

Want more space geek news? Then subscribe below via email, RSS or twitter for free updates!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Prefer another service? How about via RSS or follow Colony Worlds on Twitter!

No comments:

Post a Comment

You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

But if you choose the former, you'll definitely get a better view.

~Darnell Clayton, 2007

Note: You do not need a Blogger account in order to comment, but you do need to solve the universal puzzle below.