Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Candle Wax New Rocket Fuel

It's not a new idea, but candle wax could become a substitute for expensive rocket fuel. With so many start-up space launch companies all searching for a low cost alternative to "business as usual" one of them is bound to take a cue from NASA. For a change...

Since 2003 scientists at NASA Ames Research Center have been studying the use of regular household paraffin, candle wax, as a substitute rocket fuel. Using pure oxygen gas blown across its burning surface, the stuff burns white-hot.
In essence, it's a non-polluting hybrid rocket motor alternative to the half-dozen or so current rocket fuel technologies used by NASA.

Of course, even NASA, as slow and lumbering as it may seem at times, is really looking forward to the day rockets carry no fuel at all, and trips to the edge of the Solar System are mundane.

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