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According to Clarke's Ignition! (1972), German rocket experimenter Johannes Winkler fired a methane-LOX rocket motor in 1930: This work led nowhere in particular, since, as methane has a performance only slightly superior to that of gasoline, and is much harder to handle, nobody could see any point to following it up. By 1970, NASA had experimented with ...


10

Liquid methane (Methalox) has never been used in an orbital, or even very high flying rocket. It's a long story, but the short is methalox requires a bit better metal alloys then were available until recently, and that is why the sudden heavy interest in it. Methane in and of itself isn't optimal for atmospheric or above-atmosphere range, but has a good mix ...


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Walter Thiel, a German experimenter, tried to use liquid hydrogen fuel in a small rocket engine before WW2. The first systematic investigation of LH2 as an airplane and/or rocket fuel in the US started in 1945. The first operational rocket stage to use LH2 as a fuel was the Centaur. LH2 is difficult to use because of its extreme low temperature, difficulty ...


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