BeanQuest

August 29, 2007

Methane rocket

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brian @ 4:59 pm

Wow. Impressive (and beautiful) test of a methane-powered rocket by NASA.

Methane (CH4), the principal component of natural gas, is abundant in the outer solar system. It can be harvested from Mars, Titan, Jupiter, and many other planets and moons. With fuel waiting at the destination, a rocket leaving Earth wouldn’t have to carry so much propellant, reducing the cost of a mission.

Perhaps surprisingly, this flammable gas has never powered a spacecraft before. But now scientists and engineers at Marshall, the Glenn Research Center and the Johnson Space Center are developing LOX/methane engines as an option for the future.

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