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Video: Water Ice Plus Aluminum Equals Rocket Fuel. Huh?

23 Sep 2009, 02:42 UTC
Video: Water Ice Plus Aluminum Equals Rocket Fuel. Huh?
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(Hat Tip: Hobby Space)
When it comes to space travel, choosing the right fuel could mean life or death for those watching the rocket blast off into glory.
While the hydrogen/oxygen mix has been popular with governments and corporations alike, scientists from Purdue and Pennsylvania State are trying to come up with safer alternatives such as aluminum and water ice.
(Defense News) In August, the Air Force, NASA and scientists from Purdue and Pennsylvania State universities launched a 9-foot rocket 1,300 feet into the air during an initial test flight of the propellant ALICE – so named for its ingredients, aluminum and ice.
The rocket accelerated to 200 miles per hour in 0.8 seconds, said Timothee Pourpoint, an aeronautics and astronautics professor at Purdue.
That’s a promising start, but not better than current propellants, he said. ALICE developers are convinced they can do better. “We have a lot of ideas on how to improve performance,” Pourpoint said.

While its doubtful that NASA would replace the hydrogen/oxygen mix that they have come to know and love, it may be worth looking into for the space agency as it would enable astronauts to refuel from the moon (since there is plenty of ...

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