The Stardust 1.0 made its debut at a former military base in Maine and taken a leap to the sky. Wondering what is there to debut? Aren’t many space rockets launched already? Well, Stardust 1.0 is the first of its kind, which runs on biofuel.
The rocket was brought to the launching site strapped to a trailer. A pick-up truck then pulled it to the expected location. B-52 bombers once used the runway that the rocket traversed during the cold war. Now, that was not a glamorous entry for the rocket, which is about to make history.
How About Hiring An Uber From To Space?
But, to the short-lived dismay, the rocket almost didn’t make any history owing to the subzero conditions causing havoc to electronics.
At last, the Stardust 1.0, after encountering several delays, was able to lift off the ground on Sunday. With the lift-off of the Stardust 1.0, the world witnessed the first-ever commercial launch of a rocket that is powered by bio-fuel. Now, that sounds like a bright future for space traveling.
Sascha Deri, the inventor of the bio-fuel, hadn’t revealed much about the recipe but said that the ingredients for the bio-fuel can easily be gathered from farms around the world. Deri is the founder and the chief executive of blueShift aerospace, an American aerospace firm.
The blueShift aerospace team has dedicated almost 6 years in refining the formula for the bio-fuel. They also successfully designed a unique and modular hybrid engine.
With the success of the bio-fuel driven rocket lift, Deri said that they wanted to prove that a bio-derived fuel can serve well in some cases than the traditional fuels used in rockets.
Deri also boasted about the environmentally-friendly step taken by them with the invention of this bio-fuel. He stated that the bio-fuel is cost-effective and inexpensive as compared to traditional rocket-fuel. It is a non-toxic alternative and a carbon-neutral fuel. He exclaimed that the bio-fuel is a responsible and definitely a better option for the environment.
Stardust 1.0, the rocket that the group tested, is a small rocket of about 20 feet. It weighs around 550 lbs. But what makes it extraordinary is the fact that it doesn’t require high-tech infrastructure as other large and traditional rockets. In addition, the rocket is quite inexpensive. This is going to open a window to make space research accessible to more people. Researchers and students, and even businesses will be able to conduct experiments with greater control and frequency.
Deri enthusiastically said that given the current scenario when there are freight trains to space like SpaceX and ULA and even buses and medium-sized rockets are available to space carrying thousands of kilograms to space. Until now, no space launch service is available to allow only one or two payloads to go to space. In the words of Deri, there is no Uber to space. The blueShift aerospace aspires to be the Uber service to space.
The Stardust 1.0 carried a payload that includes a high school experiment. It includes a test on an alloy called nitinol developed by Kellogg Research Labs in Salem, New Hampshire.
Joe Kellogg, the founder of Kelloggs Research Lab, said that the alloy is a shape memory material. It finds its application in stents and other medical devices. It can also protect the rocket payloads from vibrations.
The Stardust took a leap of about one mile in the sky and then parachuted back to the ground. The team has further planned for a sub-orbital rocket. Finally, blueShift will head towards the next polar orbit entrance using Red Dwarf, the rocket’s name.
Deri seemed quite optimistic about his plans when he said that the former military base, Maine, has the necessary resources, the aerospace firm has the qualified people, and not the least, they have a desired geographical advantage to launch into polar orbit. All that is required is the belief in the team that this can be achieved.
Well, it will be really interesting to see if blueShift aerospace is going to be the “Uber Service” to space or not.