The first biofuel rocket to work as ‘Uber in space’
While the astronauts and scientists are struggling to contain space debris and junk, a small company in the US has developed a rocket which could be operated on biofuel. Biofuel is made from plants and roots and is nontoxic for the environment as opposed to traditionally used rocket fuels.
The rocket, Stardust 1.0, was launched from Loring Commerce Centre in Maine, US, and became the first commercial space launch powered by biofuel. The rocket is manufactured by Maine-based aerospace company bluShift. The startup was founded in the year 2014 and has received grants from the Maine Technology Institute and NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program as it embarks on a quest to become the ‘Uber for space.’
The 20 feet long and around 250 kg rocket is relatively cheaper to fly as it doesn’t require a high-tech infrastructure of larger rockets, making space research accessible to more people. The rocket can carry a maximum payload mass of 8 kg. It is a launch vehicle suited for student and budget payloads.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’ New Shephard and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic are major players in space tourism and exploration. But unlike Stardust, their rockets use toxic fuels which ultimately harm the environment.
Did you know?
Biofuels are carbon-neutral and are obtained from biomass which can be converted directly into liquid fuels and can be used as transportation fuels.