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Does Starship run on Slushies?

Cryogenic slush (a mixture of liquid and solid) can potentially store propellants at higher density than cryogenic liquid. For instance, hydrogen slush is 16-20% denser than liquid hydrogen. https://...
Woody's user avatar
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What (if any) modifications would SpaceX raptor engines need to run on liquified natural gas LNG?

Natural gas is 97% methane. Most of the rest is low molecular weight alkanes (hydrocarbons which would be at home in RP-1), along with a little CO2, H2S, N2 and He . Could Raptors run on straight ...
Woody's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
429 views

What would it take to collect methane from the atmosphere and use it as rocket fuel?

SpaceX is currently dealing with a lot of environmental regulation issues with Starship. One issue they have is the amount of CO2 Starship produces. Their falcon 9 produces 440 tons of CO2 each flight,...
The Rocket fan's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
974 views

Why do methane engines require burn-off igniters?

When I was watching the flight readiness test firing of the Vulcan’s BE-4 engines, I noticed that there were igniters similar to the ROFI igniters seen on liquid hydrogen rockets. Why do methane ...
TRK's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
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Does methalox fuel have a coking problem at all?

Methane was chosen for SpaceX Raptor because it has less coking problem that kerosene. But does it completely eliminate it? If not, how much less severe is it? I googled 'thermal decomposition of ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
142 views

Could and should not the search for the location(s) of the Martian methane spikes become the main scientific objective for the Curiosity rover?

In Nature Geoscience's article Independent confirmation of a methane spike on Mars and a source region east of Gale Crater is announced that the reported methane spike on sol 305 by the Tunable Laser ...
Cornelis's user avatar
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What transportation energy “currency” would be most suitable for mobile machinery on the Martian surface?

What transportation energy “currency” (methane, H2, electricity) would be most suitable for mobile machinery on the Martian surface? Photovoltaic (PV) cells or nuclear energy will likely be the only ...
Woody's user avatar
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Starship: Methane and Oxygen can't both be liquid, except in a narrow temperature range. Is this a problem for interplanetary voyages?

On an extended spaceflight in Starship, the liquid propellant and oxidizer will tend towards the same temperature. The tanks can be refrigerated by boiling off contents, but your mileage may vary ...
Woody's user avatar
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11 votes
4 answers
3k views

Why RP-1 and not Methane for Falcon 9's Merlin engines?

I've seen methane described as the best of both worlds---the worlds being hydrogen's energy density + pain-in-the-ass factor and RP-1's lower energy density + ... ease of use? And this has me ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
673 views

What are SpaceX plans for Starship with respect to Moon landing and then takeoff?

Starship uses Raptor engines which in turn uses liquid methane as fuel. The idea for using methane as fuel being - methane can be produced on Mars from CO2 and H2O. And using the onsite produced ...
samshers's user avatar
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Were there any experiments that produced rocket fuel grade methane on mars?

One of the main reasons that SpaceX's Starship engine raptor uses methane is because it can theoretically be produced there from atmospheric CO2 and subsurface H2O. Where there any experiments that ...
moshevi's user avatar
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1 answer
519 views

Methane or LOX tank at Boca Chica

As we can see on this picture from Mary "@bocachicagal" on NASASpaceFlight, there are two types of tank near the test stand. Some are black and others are white or bright and shiny metal, ...
Clément's user avatar
17 votes
6 answers
7k views

Sending rockets to space will eventually consume all of our resources?

Imagine that we somehow manage to maintain frequent trips Earth <-> Mars. I'm not sure what fuel we use but I've read somewhere that it's methane due to its cheap cost. As the trip goes on for 6 ...
MigDinny's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
453 views

Can expander cycle engines fueled by methane or propane be practical?

It seems like all expander cycle engines currently in operation or in development use liquid hydrogen as fuel. The answer to this question indicates that RP1 won't work for EC engines because of its ...
irakliy's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
59 views

Could the NOMAD instrument on the TGO detect methane at night with sufficient reflected sunlight or artificial light?

Nadir and Occultation for MArs Discovery (NOMAD) is a 3-channel spectrometer on board the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO). Both the solar occultation (SO), and the limb nadir and occultation (LNO) ...
Cornelis's user avatar
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1 answer
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How did JPL detonate a liquid oxygen methane mixture with light?

This answer to Pre-mixing cryogenic fuels and using only one fuel tank quotes John D. Clark's Ignition! Chapter 11: The Hopeful Monoprops, and the quote includes the line: How he avoided ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 answer
580 views

Are there fuel cells for methane + oxygen? Could there be?

Hydrogen + oxygen fuel cells powered the week-long Apollo missions to the Moon and Shuttle missions to orbit, and there is a industry trying to build itself around hydrogen-fed fuel cell-based road ...
uhoh's user avatar
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35 votes
3 answers
7k views

Is it possible that Curiosity Rover measured its own methane or failed doing the spectrometry?

NASA published past June high methane concentrations were measured at Mars. This week, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover found a surprising result: the largest amount of methane ever measured during the ...
user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
276 views

What new has come from the recent methane findings on Mars?

I was reading: https://www.cnet.com/news/nasas-curiosity-rover-makes-surprising-methane-gas-discovery-on-mars/ And, yes, I realize that cnet is not a good source of information, however it's more ...
Magic Octopus Urn's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
264 views

Will the Mars 2020 rover's sensitivity to methane be better than Curiosity's?

The New York Times article NASA Rover on Mars Detects Puff of Gas That Hints at Possibility of Life describes the newest detection of a "whiff" of methane on Mars. The article states that ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
226 views

Could in situ (in-rocket) evaporative cooling/refrigeration be used for methane or hydrogen cryogenic propellants?

@Uwe's excellent answer to the question Why would sub-cooled LOX tanks need to “topped-off” until the last minute or so? explains that the LOX is sub-cooled in situ within the rocket's tank using ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Conditions on Titan under which human breath can be set to fire

Motivated by the question Titan vs Mars for colonization, I wonder what exactly happens if human exhalation products are released into Titanian atmosphere and, say, a spark igniter happens to be ...
Everyday Astronaut's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
856 views

How will Robotic Refueling Mission-3's liquid methane tank remain full for six months without any boil off?

Space.com's Lasers, Crystals and 36,000 Worms Will Ride a SpaceX Dragon to Space Station says: To fly on those journeys, astronauts might have to someday harvest fuel from the surface of the moon ...
uhoh's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
169 views

Why are there no methane detectors with "the mole" of the Insight lander?

A possible geophysical source of methane on Mars could be ancient methane trapped in clathrate hydrates in the subsurface that may be released occasionally. In a not secured (!) article of ESA about ...
Cornelis's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
128 views

Spacesuit needed for 1 psi 100% methane atmosphere - 60 Fahrenheit?

What sort of spacesuit would an astronaut need if she were to walk on a planet with a 1 psi (0.07 ATM) 100% methane atmosphere and -60°F (-50°C) temperatures?
Isabella Barbiero's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
203 views

NASA's Curiosity Rover - Carbon Isotope Ratio of Methane?

The following is taken from Sinha & Rral , 2015: "NASA's Curiosity rover has the capability to search for organic compounds and to identify the chemical and isotopic composition of the Martian ...
Bell's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
109 views

Methane and the Search for Life on Mars

I was wondering, if we measured the carbon isotopic ratio of methane on Mars and found that it was very negative (i.e. it contained more carbon-12 than carbon-13), would this provide definitive proof ...
Bell's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
447 views

What exactly are the recent observations of organics on Mars? What's the data?

There is news of organic molecules on Mars, an event in the press. What exactly are the measurements? I've heard something about atmospheric methane, is this determined from some absorption peaks in ...
uhoh's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
366 views

Methane on Mars - Can we locate the source?

I know that Methane has been detected on Mars, however there seems to be a lack of specific information about the location and concentration of the Methane. Would it be possible to pinpoint the source ...
Magic Octopus Urn's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
305 views

How does methane waste produced by the ISS interact with our Atmosphere?

The ISS uses a Sabatier reactor to recover oxygen from carbon dioxide. This has an output product of methane. I would imagine that most methane that enters our atmosphere at ground level only reaches ...
Gabriel Fair's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
246 views

Is ISRO Making a Methane Engine?

I'd read some stray comment on the internet claiming that ISRO is working on a methane-LOX engine, just as a technology demonstrator. Is this true?
san man's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
292 views

How much methane to push Titan into Saturn?

How much methane would have to be expended (think Raptor engine) to propel Titan into Saturn? It's clearly a humongous amount.
ikaruss's user avatar
  • 119
4 votes
1 answer
579 views

How would the Saturn V have differed if the first stage was using liquid methane and LOX?

We have seen here the excellent answer to the question: How would the Saturn V have differed if the first stage was also LH2/LOX? What if liquid methane would be used instead of kerosene? Would the ...
Uwe's user avatar
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