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Fri Jan 8, 2021, 01:24 PM

Future astronauts could use methane to make rocket fuel on Mars

By Chelsea Gohd 5 hours ago



This concept design shows future astronauts on Mars. A new study shows how future astronauts might use local materials to make methane-based rocket fuel to get home.
(Image: NASA)

How will future astronauts get back home to Earth from Mars? According to a new study, they could make rocket fuel from the methane that's already on the Red Planet.

Researchers have devised a new way to create methane-based rocket fuel that they hope could make return trips from Mars far more feasible. This method was previously theorized by Elon Musk and engineers at SpaceX who considered ways to use carbon dioxide and water from ice on Mars to have the necessary carbon and hydrogen necessary to create methane.

So, in theory, future astronauts could use this technique to turn local Martian materials like ice and carbon dioxide to make rocket fuel for a return trip home. This new method is only a "proof of concept" right now, meaning it has only been tested in labs but not in real-world conditions.

Still, while "lots of engineering and research is needed before this can be fully implemented," Huolin Xin, a physicist at the University of California, Irvine who led this research, said in a statement. "But the results are very promising."

More:
https://www.space.com/future-astronauts-methane-rocket-fuel-mars

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Reply Future astronauts could use methane to make rocket fuel on Mars (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jan 2021 OP
NNadir Jan 2021 #1
Pobeka Jan 2021 #2
NNadir Jan 2021 #3
Pobeka Jan 2021 #4
NNadir Jan 2021 #5

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jan 8, 2021, 01:39 PM

1. Really? Elon Musk figured this out?

It strains credulity to assume that a chemical plant can be built on a planet capable of generating enough fuel for an interplanetary mission, particularly one capable of doing so involving the reduction of carbon dioxide from CO2.

This is a Musk fluffy article, part of his less than slight tendency to engage in Trumpian self glorification.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 8, 2021, 02:02 PM

2. ... and, where do you get the energy to run that chemical plant?

Musk fluffy, great description.

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Response to Pobeka (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 8, 2021, 02:12 PM

3. Tesla batteries hooked to Martian wind turbines, I'd guess.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 8, 2021, 02:24 PM

4. Not unreasonable I suppose.

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Response to Pobeka (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 8, 2021, 02:42 PM

5. Not in Musk world, or, for that matter, on the planet Earth.

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