Questions tagged [methane]

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3
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1answer
88 views

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 ...
4
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2answers
381 views

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 ...
11
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4answers
2k 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 ...
3
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2answers
467 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 ...
4
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2answers
193 views

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 ...
1
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1answer
272 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, ...
16
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6answers
5k 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 ...
3
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0answers
212 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 ...
2
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1answer
49 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) ...
3
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1answer
399 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
329 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 ...
35
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3answers
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 ...
3
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3answers
220 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 ...
4
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1answer
243 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 ...
1
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1answer
183 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 ...
1
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1answer
123 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
476 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 ...
4
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2answers
152 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 ...
3
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1answer
127 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?
3
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1answer
174 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 ...
4
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1answer
96 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 ...
9
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1answer
225 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 ...
10
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1answer
329 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 ...
5
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2answers
240 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 ...
4
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0answers
235 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?
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2answers
279 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.
4
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1answer
483 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 ...