New “green” gel propulsion to slash rocket fuel costs

Whether it’s contributing to climate change or not (depending on your beliefs!) we should still protect the health of our planet and its inhabitants by opting for the most eco-friendly products as possible.

And with the advent and expansion of space exploration projects by governments around the world as well as private business and love-ventures, including SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic, we need to consider options that will protect the integrity of our earth and conditions beyond our planets own outer limits.

Couple this with the launch of multiple communication satellites upon which we are totally dependent for our global telecommunications, then that’s a lot of toxic jet fuel circulating around us.

Currently, propelling the largest of the telecommunications satellites we rely on requires costly and highly toxic jet fuel, while launching smaller satellites requires other liquid fuels that could benefit from an upgrade.

Enter a new non-toxic gel fuel. Israeli startup NewRocket, headed up by former Israeli fighter pilot Eran Privman, is developing gel propulsion – a cheaper, more environmentally friendly rocket-engine technology offering the same level of performance and control as toxic “legacy fuel” and a better solution for smaller satellites as well.

“Conventional rocket engine technology in either solid or liquid form has many risks, including high toxicity, transportation challenges and produces rockets that are difficult to control or extinguish,” a statement on the sleek NewRocket website stated. “NewRocket is developing proprietary gel technology enabling a stable and non-toxic engine propellant, without sacrificing performance and control.”

According to Privman, “It’s much more ‘green’ than any other material used today in space. The stable gel provides several attributes that offer very cheap, flexible and powerful propulsion. It will open the door for many applications in space.”

He estimates that compared to legacy fuel, gel fuel could lower the overall cost of the satellite system and operation by five times, with the weight of the gel fuel similar to liquid fuel but safer to transport.

Click here to read about NewRocket 

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